Appeal for donations may keep Floreat Athena Football Club from collapse

Floreat Athena players celebrate.
Floreat Athena players celebrate.

THE interim chairman of the Floreat Athena Football Club says danger of immediate financial collapse appears averted after donations reduced a $213,000 debt to less than $90,000 in an appeal that started last Saturday.

“The only real risk was of all those people calling their debts in,” interim chairman Paul Kotsoglo told the Community News last night.

A November 24 letter to supporters and members claimed the club only had until this Tuesday to survive, otherwise receivers would be called in.

It said a review of the 1951-established Leederville club’s finances were “shocking” and survival was at stake.

The letter said Canberra bureaucrats demanded “good governance and strong plans” to claim a recently announced $3 million Federal Government grant, which followed lobbying by club member and WA One Nation Senator Peter Georgio.

It did not detail the financial problems, but did follow a total change of the board’s membership at the club’s October annual general meeting and asked for contributions from a “sizable donation” or “$10 or $20” towards the emergency fundraiser.

Yesterday, another letter said write-downs, write-offs, sponsorships and rearranged payments had also helped reduce the debt.

Mr Kotsoglo was not a member of the club until the meeting, and previously chaired the board of the St Andrew’s Grammar School in Dianella.

He said the club’s debt was the result of operational costs including fees to Football West, rubbish collection, the bar and power bills, and he was not qualified to comment if the club had been mismanaged and its previous leadership.

A review of its accounts was being conducted and the club would work with Canberra departments so all requirement were met in the submission for the grant.

Mr Kotsoglo said it was planned the club would have draft new lease for its Litis Stadium ready for the City of Vincent in the first three months of 2019.