Thank you to everyone who attended our Member Forum on Tuesday evening. It was a great opportunity to hear from you and also share our plans for the club’s future.
Thank you to everyone who attended our Member Forum on Tuesday evening. It was a great opportunity to hear from you and also share our plans for the club-s future.
We have been holding Fan Forums for a number of years now and they are an important source of feedback for the Board and management. We have taken a number of suggestions on board and we will continue to engage with you - our Members - as we roll these ambitious plans out.
We would like to outline where we are heading as a club and what our ambitions are for the future, ambitions we believe we all share:
- We want on field success across all our teams coupled with a distinctive style of play - We want domestic success first but we also have an eye to Asia - We want our club to deepen and strengthen its links with Sydney-s football community - We want to see our stadium full of passionate members and fans, and - In addition to bringing overseas stars here, we want to make sure we are developing our own football stars of the future.
Achieving these goals will take time and requires a clear plan for the future.
On Tuesday evening we provided Members with an overview of that plan - a blueprint to achieve these ambitions.
Our strategy is “Big, Bold & Ambitious” just like the city we represent and our vision is to become recognised at home and abroad as Australia-s premier football club.
This is a strategy that has been evolving over the last 18 months and which management has been working to implement.
We-d like to share with you the three aspects of our plan that we are most passionate about as these will be the building blocks for our club-s growth into the future.
Elite Junior Teams
We want Sydney FC to be a powerhouse at a junior level with elite youth teams all the way down to under 12-s competing in the NSW Premier League competition.
Our goal is to create Australia-s leading development pathway for talented young footballers from the grass roots all the way to the A-League and beyond. In time, this will mean we will be developing even more home grown stars such as Terry Antonis, Rhyan Grant and Peter Triantis.
Our junior teams will also provide us with a critical link into Sydney-s wider football community.
A Football Centre of Excellence
We also have plans to invest in the coming years in the creation of a Football Centre of Excellence to house our elite junior teams and our community programs.
All our junior teams will operate under the direction of an Academy Director who will ensure consistency in playing style and coaching methods across all age groups and in time, all the way to our A-League team.
Over the last six months we have identified a number of potential sites across Sydney for this facility and our discussions with local councils are ongoing.
To achieve our vision to be recognised at home and abroad as Australia-s premier football club, we absolutely need to be competing in Asia regularly.
Getting to the Asian Champions- League requires us to be successful at home - winning the premiership, the championship or picking up the additional qualification spot - and we have set our performance goals with this in mind.
The introduction of Elite Junior Teams, building a Centre of Excellence and competing in Asia regularly are all lofty goals and will require time and considerable investment.
For the first time in our history, we are able to pursue these types of initiatives and investments. That-s because for the first time in our history we are on much more solid financial ground.
Just two years ago Sydney FC was facing major financial challenges. For every dollar of income we were generating we had $2.50 going out in costs. That meant in 2012, the club recorded a $7.2 million loss. Now clearly that is not sustainable - not for any club and it needed to be fixed.
Back in 2012 it would have been very easy to cut costs to close the gap - but we didn-t - we did the opposite, we chose to invest. That was the right decision because it gave the club a chance to grow and we are now starting to see the results.
In the last 2 years, our Membership numbers have nearly doubled, and we-d like to thank you all for being part of that. We now have close to 11,000 members, the highest we-ve ever had.
In the same period our home crowds have also nearly doubled.
We are proud of the family friendly atmosphere on game day and more and more parents are choosing to bring the whole family to our games. With over 8,500 Junior Blues and very strong growth in our family Memberships we have become the football club of choice for Sydney families.
We have record levels of corporate support and just this week we announced that our Principal Sponsor/Partner, Webjet is on board for another 2 years.
We have a marquee player of a stature this country has never seen and before it happened many would have doubted it possible. Our club has a level of international recognition that no other A-League club comes close to and that doesn-t stop with our A-League team.
We can say with pride that we have one of the best women-s football teams in the world having narrowly missed out on reaching the final of the World Club Championship in Japan late last year.
And just two weeks ago our youth team became champions of the National Youth League. This is a promising sign for our players of the future and confirms we are getting things right in youth development.
Many achievements we should all be very proud of and it-s only the beginning.
We have come a long way and we have a clear and ambitious plan for the future with on field success at its core. And we are more determined than ever to see this great club realise its full potential.
We look forward to seeing you at our next home game.
Scott Barlow Chairman