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Chairman's address - Steve Mace

Chairman’s Message – Steve Mace

Welcome Sharks members to my first address as Chairman of the Cronulla Sharks Board of Directors.

I am a firm believer that accountability starts at the top, so moving forward I will be regularly updating you our members on the performance and journey of your Board.

As a Board we cannot expect the best from our management, staff and playing group if we don’t lead by example, therefore we intend to stand accountable to members and the wider Sharks community.

For us to achieve this we will need to increase our transparency and communication without compromising the business.

We will share our strategy, our goals and update performance along the way and moving forward I will provide members with quarterly communications which will compliment a monthly CEO update.

Over the past 12 months the Board has been focused on delving deep into operations, however we now feel we have laid the appropriate platforms to move towards focusing more on strategy, governance and compliance. While not to take our eyes off critical projects, each Director will now also support the business on one or more Board Sub-Committee, designed so Directors and management can collectively deliver high priority projects for the Club.

I’d like to also take this opportunity to express our appreciation to those members who joined the ZOOM conferencing Annual General Meeting and thank them for passing the resolutions which were put forward.

I am pleased to say the AGM was successfully completed, albeit via video link in less than ideal circumstances due to Covid-19 and the ‘no gatherings’ restrictions.

Those who did join the meeting expressed their satisfaction as to the process and outcome, where we welcomed a new board of directors, while officially announcing the stand down of Chairman Dino Mezzatesta, who has taken up the CEO position.

In addition to myself as Chairman, our new board consists of Dane Sorensen, Dave Nicholson, David Blackett, Laura McKay, Martin Kennedy and Mark Deutsch – a group with a variety of skills across a number of professions, businesses and industries.

See following a brief communication on examples of the work planned and being carried out, the strategies and sub-committees we have put in place and the current projects being undertaken.

Thanks for your attention to this my first members address and for your continued support.

1.            Business Strategy
Over the past 12 months the Directors have led a restructuring of the business with the appointment of key personal, notably and most recently Dino Mezzatesta as Chief Executive Officer.

Dino brings a wealth of business experience and significantly a vast knowledge of the Sharks business operations having been Chairman and a Board member for an extended period of time. He has hit the ground running in heading up the day to day operations in what currently are challenging circumstances.

Our focus and number one priority with our Business Strategies going forward will be on the Sharks being a self-sustainable business. We are a rugby league-centric organisation however we cannot let emotion take precedence over the longevity of the Club.

Much uncertainty surrounds how the NRL competition will look both this season and into the future, but we intend to have strategies in place to work within the guidelines while remaining self-sustainable and financially viable.

In remaining agile and accountable in an ever-changing environment, the Group Strategic Plan will now be revisited and critiqued in line with our restructured business.

Once we’ve designed and locked in the Club’s future we will implement detailed improvement plans to ensure we continue to run a lean operating model, investing in cash generating assets as a priority.

Following on from our acquisition and amalgamation with [email protected] Golf Club, asset growth will be at the forefront of the Board’s mind moving forward

2.            Governance
A detailed scheme of delegated authority has been introduced across all levels of the business to protect and control our assets.

Further investment is required in the technology space to provide real time transparency across the business and we will also continue to focus on innovation to ensure the Sharks remain a leader long into the future.

3.            Strategic Committees
In line with our strategies, restructuring and planning, several strategic committees have been put in place.

These Board sub committees have been tailored to ensure ownership at the highest level and direct oversight across key business items.

The committees include Audit & Risk, Nominations, Remuneration & Appointments and Disciplinary, while key at present are Football & Pathways and the Building and Investment Committees.

Most of the committees are currently overseeing business as usual however at least in the immediate future much of the correspondence and communications each quarter will centre around the work undertaken by the building, investment and football committees.

In briefly outlining their significance and current projects, the Building Committee has recently saved the Club amounts in the millions of dollars in renegotiations and benefits despite terms and conditions having been predominantly agreed to in 2011.

The next important phase for the Building Committee will be the review and finalising of the delivery model for the Sharks Leagues Club as we continue to work towards a reopening in early 2022.

The newly formed Investment Committee will lead the oversight of the Clubs asset diversification and growth and it will be their responsibility to recommend to the Board how best to deploy Club capital to maximise our assets and generate appropriate ROI (Return on Investment). This committee will also provide estate planning to best protect the assets of the Club.

The Football and Pathways Committee has the important job of overseeing the salary cap adherence and ensuring adequate planning is in place for successful football operations perpetually.

With the potential of some significant changes in this area, this committee will obviously work within any new parameters as dictated by the NRL, but it must be said that with significant salary cap bandwidth coming available in the 2022 season, preparations and planning will begin now, with offers able to be made to players from November this year.

This Football committee will also oversee and examine best practices for our junior development and player pathways.

In closing, again I thank you for your attention and continued interest and look forward to providing regular updates in relation to YOUR club.

Stay safe in the current environment and Up Up Cronulla.

Steve Mace
Cronulla Sharks