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Chairman's Message

Chairman’s Message
From Dino Mezzatesta, on behalf of the Sharks Board of Directors

While change is sometimes considered intrusive or regarded as a sign of instability, the Sharks Board of Directors can reassure the Members that it is very much business as usual at the Sharks with many exciting projects still on the way and the 2020 NRL season to look forward to.

The departure of Group CEO Richard Munro may have caused some Member concern, however the Board has great confidence in its current Executive, all of whom have been in place for some time, with the Executive backed by a very capable and committed group of Directors.

The Board have, and will continue to take a hands-on approach, working alongside our Executive and staff in helping to drive and deliver on our key initiatives.

They are fully immersed in various projects, offering their expertise and guidance where necessary and appropriate, while providing additional support in helping to drive the right outcomes for our business and for you our Members.

Our Executive team are well positioned with Marc Liddell our Director of Corporate Services & Finance to serve as interim Group CEO. Marc will work with the Board to ensure that day to day operations run as usual, sitting across all major projects and continuing to oversee the financials of the business.

Elie Bassil our Leagues Club General Manager will continue to look after all matters associated with the amalgamation of the Kareela Golf Club and anything to do with the closure and rebuild of the new Club premises, while our General Manager of Football Phil Moss has complete oversight over all things football.

In addressing the matter of Richard Munro, the terms of his departure is governed by a deed which means that we entered into a confidentiality arrangement, a normal agreement in any business, one we trust our members will respect and wouldn’t expect the Board to contravene.

As stated in our brief announcement from earlier in the week, we reiterate our thanks to Richard for his dedication and service and we certainly wish him well in his future endeavours.

Our responsibility is to make sure the business continues to operate without concern which is what we are doing.

In due course the Board will advise on a replacement for the Group CEO role knowing that the key fundamental is to make sure the Club is setup for continued success.

A part of that ongoing success concerns the amalgamation with Kareela Golf Club, a crucial and monumental turning point for our great Club. We will be putting it to the members at a General Meeting on the night of Thursday, January 23, to be held at Sporties @ Kareela Golf Club, with our strong recommendation being that the Members adopt a resolution.

Should the Sharks amalgamation with Kareela be endorsed by the membership, it will represent a new addition to the Sharks stable, setting the footprint for future growth and expansion while giving our members and our community many more benefits. At same time it would secure another revenue generating asset to further strengthen our financial position. This is something we should be very excited about as for the first time in the history of our Club we are expanding the Brand to another area of the Shire, something we want to continue to do and grow.

In relation to the Leagues Club, those who have driven past the Woolooware site will see the construction is all encompassing, and whilst the Club closure is certainly annoying, most will agree it was the only option in giving the builder every opportunity to advance and hopefully accelerate the construction program. The end result will be a state-of-the-art Club, modern in its design and functional in operation, giving members some exciting new facilities and positioning ourselves with a product that you our members will be very proud of. It will also compliment what will be a very dynamic precinct and community hub.

Back to Football Club matters and I can announce that we have strengthened our Commercial Team, this week welcoming the additions of Jeremy Hill as General Manager – Marketing & Brand and David McClatchey as General Manager Commercial, with the pair bringing a wealth of experience.

Jeremy brings over 15 years’ experience working in senior leadership roles and has partnered with some of Australia’s most reputable brands. He has an extensive background in brand strategy, marketing program delivery, communications, sponsorship, business development and commercial partnerships, while David comes to us following a 16-year career in the sports and events travel industry. David will add his vast knowledge in business management, sales, commercial licencing, brand development and product delivery having worked at many of the world’s largest sporting events.

Their appointments are a further investment in our future as they help to drive our ambitions in marketing, sponsorship, digital media, hospitality, branding and with our game day experience, as well as in other important areas of the business.

The announcement of our partnership with the Fijian Silk Tails late last year is also worth noting, further demonstrating our desire to be the leader in football pathways, not just locally but throughout the Pacific islands. This arrangement and connection to Fiji is a continuation of our Pacifica strategy and complements our well-established Academy and Junior rep program. The wheels are in motion to possibly have the Silk Tails play as a curtain raiser in front of our NRL team at a game or two during the 2020 season and I know this is something the members and fans will support and embrace.

While still on the Football front, John Morris has the NRL squad in great shape ahead of the upcoming season. It’s a settled group, one with a mix of experienced campaigners and exciting youngsters and with John in his first full pre-season in charge, driving a culture of hard work and resilience, it’s a team we are all confident will deliver success in 2020.

The ground work is continuing to make our move to Netstrata Stadium as smooth as possible for both the team and for you the members who have committed to supporting us next year and our marketing and events team are soon to provide information on travel packages for the Sunshine Coast and our round 10 match against the Cowboys. Come and support us as we try to turn the Sunshine Coast black, white and blue for what promises to be an exciting weekend in May.

I will just conclude by saying we are fully committed to the development of our new Leagues Club and the amalgamation with Kareela, so please join us on the 23rd and vote in favour and adopt our resolution

We trust you will see that all is well at the Sharks, we have high hopes for the team in 2020 and that the business is in a strong position and our objective to continue strengthening that is of the highest priority.

Dino Mezzatesta
On behalf of the Board

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.