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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 October 2014
Souths hop into record-setting win SPORT 28 SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER 2014 Page 32 Villa debut steals round one limelight Page 31 Desperate Greece enters into more qualifiers South Sydney chairman Nicholas Pappas reflects on the Rabbitoh’s drought- breaking premiership Nicholas Pappas might be one of the most in- fluential names behind the South Sydney Rabbi- tohs, but this can also be attributed to many suc- cessful Australian ven- tures and businesses. He runs his own private practice law firm in Syd- ney and is involved with a number of institutions. Many Greeks know him as the chair and a direc- tor of the Bank of Syd- ney, the secretary of the Greek Orthodox Archdi- ocesan Council and trus- tee of the Greek Ortho- dox Archdiocese of Aus- tralia Consolidated Trust. He's also a member of the board of governors of the Steve Waugh Foundation - which assists the families of children with rare dis- eases - and also the presi- dent of Sydney's The Pow- erhouse Museum. He said the key to success is delegation, and having the know-how to manage teams. "Boards work predomi- nately by delegations, if you know how to delegate and you have the right people there, it will not be as time consuming as what it first appeared. But if you don't have the right people and you don't know how to delegate it can be a nightmare." Having grown up in Syd- ney's south eastern sub- urbs, rich in multicultur- alism and Hellenism, he found an early attachment to the Rabbitohs. He stud- ied law which opened up a number of opportunities for him and he believes his degree propelled his career in ways that other degrees might be considered con- fining. "You meet people through law, you are not confined to a medical practice or a dental practice. A law de- gree is a generalist degree, it applies to everything we do in life, so you're ex- posed to so many different things everyday and that provides opportunities if you want to take them." Being an only child, he grew up in the com- pany of his cousins, who would take him to Souths games at a gu- pedo that he said encap- sulated his love for the code. "Rugby league players were an endless source of fascination for me because they were just so gladiator like. I re- member I used to go to Wentworth Park, which was Panhellenic's home ground [where his father was the president] and I'd leave early. My cous- in would pick me up and we'd go straight over to the cricket oval to watch Souths and that's when I'd get really excited." Successful lawyer, businessman and sport tragic A figurehead in the Sydney Greek community, Nicholas Pappas has his finger in a lot of pies JOHN PYRROS South Sydney defeated a cou- rageous Canterbury Bulldogs 30-6 last weekend to win a record 21st premiership title and produce a fairytale end- ing for a club that was on the brink of extinction 15 years ago. South's chairman Nicholas Pappas spoke to Neos Kosmos about the feeling around Red- fern (Sydney) and what the win meant for him, the club and its supporters to finally reign supreme after 43 years without success. "A sporting event of that magnitude is always fantas- tic, but the story runs a lot deeper than that. It's not just a grand final victory, because the South Sydney story is a long and chequered one - it was a culmination of many years of hard work by many people and most of all by a community that proved to be very resilient. And it was a community galvanised by the events that overtook the club." Pappas described the win as the icing on the cake after a long 15 years, having faced a League exodus that ensued court proceedings to be rein- stated. "Someone asked me 'what's the one word that came into your head?', and it was proba- bly relief - because we scaled the mountain at last. "I've used this expression a number of times 'crawl, walk, run'. We had to crawl for a long time, and then we had to walk for a long time and then at last we got into stride on Sunday night. It's been a long, long process." When asked how he felt about News Corp entities encapsulating the drought- breaking premiership win, he was pragmatic about the situ- ation - despite the infamous court battles some 15 years earlier. "One thing I will say about News is that when they saw the strength of people power and when we did have that Full Bench victory in 2001, they realised that was the opportunity for them to em- brace the people and they re- instated us." "When I see the headlines today, yes I do see that (the irony), but they are a very ag- ile corporation, as big corpo- rates tend to be. They can be enemies one day and friends the next. They don't necessar- ily have the conscience that we see in individuals - they're corporate entities." Midweek reports, broken by News Corp's The Daily Tele- graph, claimed casino mogul James Packer is on the verge of purchasing co-owner Pe- ter Holmes à Court's 37.5 per cent share in the club, and Pappas said the Bunnies brand can only get bigger as a result. "If it does happen then it propels the club to even higher levels that we would never have imagined before. It's been an amazing week, in terms of where the club has gone." And he said the sky's the limit when it comes to the club's potential heights. "I think our brand is a very powerful brand right now and can become more pow- erful. There's something about that rabbit, it's a very incongruous kind of symbol. It's a little bunny that looks very peaceful and harmless in the most physical sport in the world. “The glow that Russell [Crowe] brings to it, the pre- miership success, the fact that we're profitable and we have a strong community outreach, there is the scope to spread that success across Australia." South Sydney's will now par- take in the World Club Chal- lenge held in February.
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