On behalf of the Football Club, (the “Club”), I want to extend a warm welcome to you and your families, provide a brief update as we enter the 2024 season, and remind you that the annual Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC) member election will be held during the month of February 2024. It is important that eligible Club Members actively participate in these elections and lodge their vote before 5pm AEST 23 February 2024.
Our parent, the Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC), recently released its Annual Report, which provides an overview of the 2023 financial year for both the Leagues Club and the Club. You can access a copy of the PLC Annual Report https://www.parraleagues.com.au/annual-report/.
Financially, we remain strong, recording another profitable year for the period ending 31 October 2023. Increased revenue from our key business areas is allowing us to enhance funding in football, community programs, and game-day experiences.
Our Kellyville Park development remains on track to be completed in 2025 with construction progressing well. This is a generational project for our Club; a world-class facility which current and future generations of Eels will call home and be a key part of our football program going forward.
Importantly while the Eels NRL, NRLW and Elite pathway programs will have a world class, centre of excellence, our shared vision with Hills Shire Council is to develop one of the largest community sports precincts in Western Sydney. Once the project is completed, Kellyville Park will have over 700 players and staff (elite and community) using the facility weekly with over 65 per cent of the regular users being community and grassroots participants.
Kellyville Park will cater to the growing needs of our community and increase sports participation from grassroots all the way up to NRL and NRLW.
Governance and Stability
A strong partnership with our parent PLC is crucial for the ongoing success of both organisations. Stability at the board level has been instrumental in the progress of the Club since the appointment of the Administrator in 2016.
A critical element of the Administrators reform was to separate responsibility for the running of both organisations by installing separate governance structures including separate boards to oversee the management of each organisation. Previously the PLC Board had responsibility for the running of both. If you would like some background on why this reform was important, you can read the message I sent to Members before the successful vote in 2019 which you can find here https://www.parraeels.com.au/reform/
Our current governance arrangements were supported by the NSW Government and have reestablished confidence in both the Club and PLC, which is evidenced by the NSW Government providing the Club a $33m grant towards the building of the Kellyville Park facility. Without this grant, along with the $15m grant from the Federal Government, and contributions from the Hills Shire Council the building of the Kellyville Park facility would not be possible.
Leagues Club Election
Thankfully, the reset of the organisation provided by the appointment of the Administrator has offered a strong period of stability and growth for both organisations. We now have two highly qualified Boards and Management teams guiding the Club and Leagues Club.
Considering our historical challenges, we need a well-credentialed Leagues Club board focused on overseeing a professionally managed PLC. A successfully governed and managed PLC will continue to contribute to the success of the Parramatta Eels.
I would like to emphasise the importance of Club Members who are eligible PLC members to cast their votes in the upcoming PLC election. I encourage each eligible member to participate actively in the upcoming elections, contributing to the selection of nominees who have the necessary skills and experience to guide the PLC into the foreseeable future.
Please exercise your right to vote; the PLC elections run from January 30th to February 23rd, with the Annual General Meeting taking place on Tuesday, 27 February at 7pm at Parra Leagues Club. Detailed voting instructions are available on the PLC website.
Stability at board level has been instrumental in the Eels' growth and progress, and PLC deserves a similar opportunity.
I look forward to seeing you all during the season ahead.
Go the Eels!
Parramatta Eels Chairman
Eels Member no. 1478883