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Retraction and apology issued to FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci and President Ben Richardson by Bonita Mersiades in settlement of their defamation action

Apology and retraction to Mr Robert Cavallucci and Mr Ben Richardson 

On 24 January 2020, I published an article entitled “Costs of playing increases in Queensland” (“Article”).

It has been brought to my attention that some people may have interpreted the Article to mean that Mr Robert Cavallucci and Mr Ben Richardson were corrupt, dishonest, acted disreputably and were in dereliction of their duties owed to Football Queensland in their respective positions as chairman and director. Separately, as against Mr Richardson, the Article may have been interpreted to mean that he favoured his personal interests by securing an appointment as a consultant to search for a replacement chief executive officer and was dishonest in rendering an invoice to Football Queensland for consulting work he did not undertake.

I did not intend any such suggestions to arise. Those suggestions would be untrue and unfounded. I wish to apologise to Mr Cavallucci and Mr Richardson for any hurt, distress and embarrassment the Article and subsequent publications may have caused to them and their families.

I also wish to apologise that public assertions of truth of the above suggestions were made in court proceedings, which were subsequently broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘7:30’ program on 25 November 2020.

The position is:

  1. Mr Cavallucci was appointed to the role of CEO of Football Queensland after an extensive recruitment process that ultimately led to his appointment to the role; and
  2. The fee increase to player registration fees was approved by the Board before Mr Cavallucci was offered the role of CEO of Football Queensland; and
  3. Following the resignation of the former CEO of Football Queensland, Mr Richardson provided executive services to the organisation, which was without a chief executive officer whilst also undertaking the recruitment process over a two-month period, which process resulted in Mr Cavallucci being unanimously appointed by the board of Football Queensland.

Dated: 22 February 2021

Bonita Mersiades on her own behalf and as director of Fair Play Publishing Pty Ltd

View the full retraction and apology here.

RETRACTION AND APOLOGY ISSUED TO FQ CEO ROBERT CAVALLUCCI AND PRESIDENT BEN RICHARDSON BY BONITA MERSIADES IN SETTLEMENT OF THEIR DEFAMATION ACTION

On Monday, 22 February 2021 the defamation action before the courts initiated by Football Queensland Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Cavallucci and President Ben Richardson was settled with the defendant Bonita Mersiades and Fair Play Publishing, issuing a retraction and apology (above).

Forming part of the settlement, an undisclosed sum was paid to the plaintiffs Cavallucci and Richardson by Bonita Mersiades, which will be donated in its entirety to football related charities.

Cavallucci and Richardson commenced defamation action against Mersiades following the release of an article on FootballToday.news in January 2020, which led to several follow-up stories including a program that was amplified across mainstream media via ABC’s 7:30 Report.

Despite this, FQ remained loyal to its vision and refused to be distracted as we embarked on the extensive reform journey to shape a brighter future for football in our state.

Football Queensland welcomes the settlement of this matter and looks forward to continuing its focus as the governing body of the sport in Queensland, on growing the game and supporting the members and participants of our football community across the state.

Source: Football Queensland

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Player sentiment up, average age down: PFA releases annual report

Sentiment is well and truly up for A-League players, according to the annual Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report.

This time last year, only 33% of A-League players felt confident about the direction of their football careers.

According to the PFA’s latest annual report, that number is now 56%.

Of the A-League’s 312 players, 200 responded to the 2020/21 A-League survey, capturing 70% of the current cohort, with the results proving that even despite the ongoing turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19, the majority of players feel much more confident about their futures within the game.

The report highlights that Australian players actively want to remain in the A-League, as opposed to seeking opportunities overseas.

The key numbers that demonstrate this include:

  • 55% of players said they would like to stay playing in the A-League next season, up from 45% last year.
  • 56% of players are confident about the direction of their football careers, compared to 33% in 2019/20.
  • Only 4% of players would move to an overseas league even if it was for similar money and/or playing standard.
  • Only 16% of players who would prefer to move to an overseas league would only do so if the money and standards were better.

Other highlights of the report include that the average A-League player is getting younger.

Over the last 14 years, the average age of the A-League player has consistently trended upwards.

In 2020/21, however, this changed and the average age trended downwards, dropping from 27.6 to 25.1.

The number of players utilised in the A-League who were aged 21 and under came in at 107, representing 35% of the 300 players who received A-League minutes during the 2020/21 season.

The youngest squads on average belonged to Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, with average ages of 23.6 and 23.9 years respectively.

Another highlight was the fact that of the league’s 312 contracted players, 300 received A-League minutes.

“These reports have been immensely valuable, helping the PFA and the players better understand the industry in which they are employed, monitor the application of high-performance standards, assess technical progress and survey the players’ experience,” PFA Co-Chief Executive Beau Busch said of the report.

“For the last five years, we have been able to utilise these reports to formulate evidence-based positions to improve the environments in which our members work through collective bargaining.

“Promisingly, after a period of significant uncertainty, the players have indicated that they are more confident in the direction of their careers and the future of the competition than this time last year, signifying a positive shift in the perception of the A-League.”

The report also highlights the fact that A-League attendances were the lowest ever in the competition, thanks in large part to COVID-19, with an average attendance of 5,660.

Foreign players in the league reduced by 12 to a total of 51, whilst the average salary in the A-League is $136,791.

Access the full report HERE.

DFL and AWS introduce two new Match Facts to Bundesliga coverage

Bundesliga analysis

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced the addition of two new Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS that will premiere as graphics during broadcasts and in the official Bundesliga app during the 2021-2022 season.

The two new Match Facts – Shot Efficiency and Passing Profile – will bring the total number of advanced statistics to eight, with each of them aiming to give fans deeper insights into the action on the pitch.

The first of the new advanced stats – Shot Efficiency – compares the number of goals that a player or team has scored with how many goals the player or team should have scored based on the quality of their chances.

The second – Passing Profile – provides deeper insights into the pass quality of a player or an entire team. Both of the stats are generated by gathering and analysing the match feeds from live games in real time as they are streamed into AWS.

Both new stats made their debut during Matchday 4 on the clash between German Champion FC Bayern München and the second-placed team of the previous season RB Leipzig.

The two new Match Facts will better showcase the action on the field – giving fans, coaches, players, and commentators visual support for analysing the decision-making of players and teams.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President of Digital Innovations for DFL Group, was excited to further innovate the matchday experience for viewers based both domestically and internationally.

“Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS allows us to give fans more insight into the game of football, broadcasters more interesting stories to tell and coaches and teams, more data to excel at their game,” he said.

“Last year, the reception for Bundesliga Match Facts around the world was very positive, and we expect through ML and AI to continue to innovate on these analytics to make them even better.

“These two new stats give fans a view into player efficiency that hasn’t been achieved before, and we are just at the beginning of our relationship with AWS. I’m excited to see how technology will continue to evolve the fan experience and the game.”

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