I am writing to you to clear up a number of issues and misconceptions written about your club in today's media.
Both your Chairman, Steve Sharp, and I were approached yesterday about some of the matters raised in the story.
The reporter asked a range of questions some of which, if I were to answer, would have been a clear breach of various confidentiality arrangements, while the salacious and gossipy nature of others simply didn't justify an answer.
Here is my full response:
Gone are the days where the CEO of this club (the 4th in 4 years) will be reduced to responding to speculation and scuttlebutt in the form of the type of questions you have asked.
This club is moving forward and everyone here realises how bright the future for the Eels can be. That is the difference in the Parramatta Eels of today and the "Old Parramatta." We are united behind our vision and will not allow those with agendas and vested interests to stand in the way of us reaching our ultimate goal of being The Number 1 Club in the Greatest Game of All.
Our values are care, courage, excellence, inclusiveness and teamwork. Everyone who shares those values is welcome to join us on our journey towards success in a marketplace of over 2 million and an economy that is the 3rd largest in Australia.
We are focused on long-term sustainable success, and every business decision we make will be measured on whether it can help us achieve that.
This year we have taken giant strides in regards to reconnecting with our long neglected Members, Fans and Community. Our junior participation is experiencing record growth and we have doubled the total schools visited in 2012 from 60 to 120 and we are only in June.
We celebrated the retention of Western Sydney juniors Jarryd Hayne, Jacob Loko, Ryan Morgan and Mitchell Allgood, and will welcome Will Hopoate, Corey Norman, Gareth Hock and Lee Mossop to the Eels Family next season.
We have attracted record membership of over 16,000 despite finishing 12th, 14th and 16th over the last 3 years. And that is just a small example of what we have achieved so far.
I do not apologise for making changes at a club where the Board and Members demand success and have long gone without it. We have a plan for the future across all our operations both in football and business, a plan both the club and its board believe in.
If you read the article you will notice that outside of a small excerpt from my above email and a mention of a conversation with your Chairman Steve Sharp, the story was driven by unnamed sources.
The Eels have been haemorrhaging both ethically and financially for too long. A change was needed and it was a change you drove at the recent board elections. With any sort of transition period comes some element of pain but that is the sacrifice we must make both on the field and off it to provide the Eels with a consistently brighter future.
Our direction as a club will not be influenced by the agendas of those focused on personal gain. Be confident that you have a board that puts the Club and its Members' interests first and a coach with the focus and desire to restore a winning culture at the Eels.
We cannot emphasise enough how important your support as a Member is to the Parramatta Eels. Your passion and loyalty will again inspire this club towards great things. When there is REAL news about this club to report, rest assured that as a Member you will know it first.
I do sincerely hope to see you all at ANZ Stadium on Sunday for our game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Join us in celebrating our flourishing Junior League and soak up the atmosphere of our NRL Family Fun day.
Lets make sure that the Blue and Gold Army drowns out the burrow and spurs the boys home for victory. #GoParra
CEO Pirtek Parramatta Eels