Dolphins sink under debts

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DEBTS have forced the Frankston Football Club to go into voluntary administration.

The Dolphins called in administrators Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants and the VFL club’s players were informed of the shock decision on Friday evening (26 August) as they prepared to face fellow league cellar dwellers North Ballarat on Saturday in the team’s final game of the season.

The football club is believed to be struggling under about $800,000 worth of debts.

Worrells issued a statement at the weekend saying it was too early to comment on the reasons for the Dolphins’ plight.

The administrator stated two meetings will be held with creditors within 20-30 days of administration to “determine the future of the club”.

The club’s decision to enter administration comes almost a year after then club general manager Brett Angwin told The Times the club was not in financial strife despite carrying debts of around $1 million, partly to finance the completion of the club’s new $3.4 million stadium and function centre redevelopment.

“We are not in any sort of financial trouble whatsoever,” he said in September last year.

“We were audited by AFL Victoria about three weeks ago and received endorsement on our operations.”

It is understood Mr Angwin, appointed general manager that same month last year, left the Dolphins last month and no successor has been hired.

The Frankston Dolphins are one of the few VFL clubs unaffiliated with an AFL team so cannot rely on financial support from such a ‘big brother’ club.

In May the club decided to switch off all 27 of its pokies machines at its new function centre to make the club more “family friendly”.

AFL Victoria, which runs the VFL, issued a statement on Saturday confirming it is aware of Frankston’s financial situation and will work with the club.

The Dolphins went down away from home to North Ballarat 8.18 (66) to Frankston’s 8.8 (56) on Saturday in Jason ‘Pongo’ Pongracic’s 50th game for the team.

The loss meant the team finished bottom of the league ladder but two wins this season was an improvement on a winless campaign last year.

First published in the Frankston Times – 29 August 2016

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