On behalf of the Board, I want to extend a warm welcome to you and your families for the year ahead and provide a Club update as we enter the 2021 season.
Our parent, the Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC) recently released its Annual Report which shows that both organisations have navigated the challenges of COVID-19 skilfully and with a high level of professionalism.
You can access a copy of the PLC Annual report and the accompanying message from PLC President Greg Monaghan HERE.
As Jim mentioned in his Christmas message, the Parramatta Eels Rugby League Club (“Eels or Football Club”) has reached a level of a financial stability that provides our Club with a strong platform for growth in the years ahead.
The Eels reported a standalone profit of $1.358m for the year ended 31 October 2020. When we rolled out our Strategic Plan in 2019, we set ourselves the target of being financially stable within 3 years and this result reflects the consistent improvements we have made since that time.
Importantly, credit must be given to our Members and Corporate Partners who remained engaged and committed to the Eels despite the challenges in their own lives and businesses in 2020. Everyone at the Eels has been humbled by the support we have received, and we are determined to repay this by ensuring we continue to have sustained success both on and off the field.
We also acknowledge the leadership and policy decisions made by the NRL and the Federal and NSW Governments in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governance and Stability
I want to highlight the importance of stable governance in achieving our recent success both on and off the field including our 2020 financial result. In the period prior to the 2017 Football Club governance reform, the Eels lost the confidence of our stakeholders including Members and Corporate Partners. The main driver of this being the instability at both a Board and senior management level. The instability placed significant financial pressure on our Football Club and the wider PLC group.
As articulated in our 2019 Strategic Plan, our vision was and remains to provide a stable governance and business framework that drives the success of our football and commercial operations.
This was important for our Members, Corporate Partners and other key stakeholders who value stability and see it as critical to a successful Eels they are proud to support. The significant progress over the last four years both on and off the field is testament to this. Our role as a Board is to ensure that this stability continues.
Parramatta Leagues Club
A key factor in the Eels’ positive performance in 2020 was the support of the new PLC Board and their management team. A strong working relationship with our parent PLC is critical to the Eels ongoing success. An example of such support, was the funding PLC was able to provide to accommodate our recent move to our new home at Kellyville Park.
Despite being faced with the challenges of COVID-19 from almost its first day, the new PLC Board has delivered for all its Members. Some of their achievements include; the roll out of a new strategic plan which provides clarity to management, staff and Members on the PLC’s future direction and the delivery of a strong financial result despite a 10-week shutdown during 2020. These achievements highlight the importance of a skills-based board with directors who have complimentary skills.
Since my appointment as Chairman of the Eels, I have continued to highlight the importance of a stable Board. Stability at board level ensures that management and staff can get on with their day job of managing the business.
I am raising the issue of stability again but this time in relation to PLC. Today, PLC is moving towards a new phase in its governance with its first triennial board elections since the appointment of the new board. This means that there are two existing PLC board members up for re-election.
It is really important that Football Club members who are also members of PLC and are eligible to vote, cast their vote. If you are a PLC member and have been a member for the last 3 years you are eligible to vote. Your vote is important, and I encourage you to exercise your right and vote to ensure that the best possible available candidates are elected.
As you have seen over recent years, the Eels have benefited from stable and professional leadership at Board level. PLC should also get this opportunity so please exercise your right and vote.
The PLC elections will begin on 17 February and continue until 10 March. You can vote electronically with a full outline of the process available on the PLC website HERE.
At the Eels, we benefit from a stable PLC Board and encourage all Eels Members who are also eligible PLC voting Members to vote and participate in the democratic process.
It is a great privilege to be the Chairman of the Parramatta Eels. Your Board is passionate about driving continuous improvement to ensure our Club reaches its potential.
Our best days are ahead of us and we look forward to sharing these successes with you.
Go the Eels!
Parramatta Eels Chairman
Eels Member no. 1478883