Welcome to the third quarterly Chairman’s address for the year as we head into the final six rounds of the NRL season.
Everyone in the business has enjoyed a busy and productive period during the quarter just gone, none more so than our Head Coach Craig Fitzgibbon who has steered the team into finals contention.
We thank our members and fans for the support and attendance at our home games but would also like to acknowledge those who travel to our away games and support the team on the road. It’s always pleasing to see the black, white and blue in opposition territory and we know the team is very grateful for the support.
Your Board has in the last quarter conducted the relevant committee meetings under our Board Charter, with the updates are provided below detailing some of that activity, however outside the Board Charters we continue to work closely with Management in offering our assistance whenever and wherever required.
Communication to our corporate partners, members and fans is of great importance to myself and our Board, quarterly we do that through this Chairman’s update, but I also urge members to attend our information night next week. You will have received details through our various media channels, please RSVP and come along and join as with the heads of our various departments present on the various aspect of the business on the night.
The NRL team continues to perform strongly, with the overwhelming support creating an electric atmosphere at PointsBet, albeit we continue to work around the challenges and restraints due to the ongoing construction adjacent to the Stadium. With only two home games remaining, against the Dragons and Bulldogs, both of those matches likely to be sell-outs, its an exciting time of the year to be supporting the Sharks.
The role of the committee is to regularly monitor the composition, skill set and effectiveness of the Board.
The current Board continues to perform with a great operating rhythm, working closing with management to navigate the growth and stability of the Club
Remuneration & Appointments Committee
With no new Executive appointments in the prior quarter there was no activity during this period.
Our club continues to be very fortunate to have best in market throughout our entire executive management team, and overall staff structure.
The Club continues to work with our development partner Aoyuan and its building head contractor in Parkview Constructions, with the ongoing progress of the final stage of the Woolooware Bay Precinct.
The Board had the opportunity of a recent unofficial walk through the Sharks Leagues Club building site. The Club will be the centrepiece of the precinct and, we are confident the scale, outlook and proposed future offerings, the new Leagues Club will rival all other Clubs in the Sutherland Shire.
We continue to be on target for the Clubs completion mid-2023.
In the meantime, our home turf of Pointsbet Stadium continues to perform well during our 2022 NRL campaign. The Board and Management would like to thank our members for your patience and understanding, as we continue to manage the operation of a live Stadium amidst the surrounding redevelopment works.
With the NRL season reaching a crucial stage we wish Craig Fitzgibbon and his team all the best ahead of the big games to come. To this point the season has been a successful one and we have high hopes for continued success over the closing rounds heading into the Finals series.
In addition to the weekly game focus, recruitment and retention remains a priority and with the signings of some of our young players such as Jesse Colquhoun, Tom Hazelton and Kayal Iro, added to the re-signings of Matt Moylan, Braden Hamlin-Uele and Jack Williams in recent months, we are building a strong squad for next season and for the years to come.
Junior recruitment also continues, with Darren Mooney, Glenn Brailey and our recruitment committee looking to bring in quality young players to compliment the exceptional talent we already have in our ranks.
Further to that and in providing opportunity to our local youngsters, Winter Academy has begun, with a total 200 players in the under 14’s, 15’s, 16’s and 18’s training under the guidance of experienced coaches, while our Elite Academy squad has been identified and are working with the NRL coaching and high-performance staff to enhance their development.
Also, in relation to our young local players, it has been a weather disrupted junior league season however we hope the sun starts to shine and as it moves to a conclusion, good luck to Tyrone Collins, Nathan Waugh, the Junior League executive committee and staff, as well as all the teams and players involved, for the closing rounds and then upcoming Finals.
In the Women’s space, an outstanding presentation night was conducted this week to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding seasons enjoyed by our Harvey Norman Women’s and Tarsha Gale Cup teams.
A number of talented young players emerged at the Tarsha Gale Cup level, while the Harvey Norman girls came ever so close to claiming the title in an exciting Grand Final against the Wests Tigers.
On behalf of the Club and the Board of Directors we thank Tony Herman, Ryan Cross and the Harvey Norman Women’s staff, as well as coach Jonathan Te Wara and his Tarsha Gale staff for their efforts in 2022.
Audit and Risk Committee
At this time of year, the Audit and Risk Committee commence work with the management team on our plans for the future, including the Budget for the year ahead as well as changes and inclusions in our Strategic Plan which looks three to five years ahead. We want to make sure the Club is able to cope with shocks that may or may not come our way as well as the day-to-day operations.
Our budget for next year will again be a tricky one with the new Leagues Club to re-open and commence operations in 2023, as well as ongoing works around us affecting game day operations and crowd numbers. The management team are developing plans for all these problems to ensure the Club continues to operate on a sound financial footing with an eye to the future.
The broader economic landscape has continued to change since our last update in April. Since then, we have had a change of federal government and the RBA has increased the Cash Rate three times, raising the headline rate from 0.10% to 1.35% which was the first increase since November 2010.
The wider market consensus from economists indicates there will be continued upward pressure on the cash rate over the next six months to attempt to control inflation, which we have all witnessed first-hand with the rising costs across all our major cost of living purchases.
From an investment view, the cash rate increases present further opportunities for the committee to consider, given the forecast returns of a number of more traditional investment products has increased in line with the cash rate.
The core investment made with Metrics Credit Partners has continued to provide a solid return to Sharks each month, maintaining a consistent outcome above our forecast hurdles.
The Investment Committee and Management will meet again next month and we continue to review new investments as they are presented, along with monitoring the current portfolio so we can pivot the invested funds elsewhere within our approved Investment Strategy if an opportunity presents itself.
The 2022 season has been positive on the field, while activity continues in all areas of the business.
Again, we thank you for your interest and continued support of our great club.