‘Tide of support’ for Dolphins

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A STEERING group formed to help Frankston Football Club negotiate choppy financial waters says community support for the Dolphins’ continued existence is rising.

Club record games holder Peter Geddes says the group is urging members and supporters to “keep your feet” and not stumble in backing the beleaguered club after AFL Victoria stripped its VFL licence for next season.

“We have been inundated with a tide of support for the Dolphins over the last week and are confident that we can put together an effective business plan to guide us through the next few years,” Mr Geddes said in a statement.

The Dolphins will not be allowed to field a VFL side next season but plan to reapply for league membership in 2018.

The football club was placed into voluntary administration in late August amid debts understood to be in excess of $1.5 million, mostly owed to the state government and Tabcorp for pokies’ licences.

The club removed all 27 electronic gaming machines at its newly built function centre in May this year.

Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants, the administrators of the club, met with creditors last Monday (3 October) and creditors agreed to postpone any decision on the club’s future until a further meeting on 28 October.

The Dolphins’ plight has united political opponents in a bid to keep the 129-year-old club alive despite the loss of its VFL licence next year.

Federal Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther and state Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke have joined the ‘Save the Frankston Dolphins Steering Committee’ alongside Frankston mayor Cr James Dooley.

“It was very important to set up this committee as we all need to work together and, as a community, get strongly behind the Club to get it back on its feet and to restore its VFL licence,” Mr Crewther said.

“Keeping the Frankston Dolphins going and as a VFL Club is important because it creates so many opportunities for young footballers aspiring to get into the VFL or AFL and creates community outcomes, whether it be youth engagement, job opportunities, multicultural integration and the avoidance of many social pitfalls through community engagement.

“I will be working my utmost hardest hand-in-hand with the local community to ensure this is the case”.

The committee will examine the long-term financial viability of the football club, its governance and will arrange fundraisers in coming months.

First published in the Mornington News –  11 October 2016

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