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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 7 November 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2015 25 SPORT South Women’s and South Men’s Clubs to join together in super club GEORGE STOGIANNOU South Melbourne FC announced last week that the South Melbourne Women’s Football club (SMWFC) will be joining with the SMFC to form a model super club. The announcement follows the SMWFC's recent AGM, which ratified a decision to transfer all the women’s and girls’ teams to SMFC in accordance with a new policy (SMFC One Club Policy), developed over a long period of time between the two clubs. “We're very excited about the future of our club,” SMWFC president Gabrielle Giuliano told Neos Kosmos. “The positives and benefits to men, women, boys and girls will be amazing. Both committees and both boards are working really positively to make sure our club will be the strongest and biggest in Victoria." Keystones of the One Club policy include the women having an increasing and evolving leadership role at the club, and also having equal access to the facilities. Increased leadership will mean increased representation on the board, beginning with Giuliano's appointment to the board. “Next year the plan is to have two female directors on the board,” Giuliano says. “Then it will grow substantially every year after that. The plan is to have half of the board to be female by 2020, and that is a serious objective. And men have come a long way in understanding the importance of that and really wanting to grow that side of it and being a whole club that caters for the whole community, not just the men. “I know that we will be leaders. The FFV have just released that they want something similar in 2030. So in regard to our goals for our club, which we have released in this document, why we call it a ‘super club’ is because I think it will be something that definitely does not exist now anywhere else, especially in the football arena. I think we will be at the forefront of football.” As well as equality in the boardroom, another cornerstone of the policy is equality on the park, by ensuring equal access to the best of Lakeside's sporting facilities, coaching structures and curricula which hitherto have been the sole privilege of the men’s club. It also means staging double headers at Lakeside stadium on match days when the senior women's and men's matches are scheduled as home fixtures. Giuliano, who has a strong family connection with SMFC, being the daughter of club legend John Margaritis, has served on the SMWFC committee for several years and been president for the last two. She says that the coming together of the two clubs has been evolving over the last few years with "discussions occurring for many years. It's not just something that happened overnight". She says the rapid growth in women's sport and the success in recent years of the SMWFC (its senior team has won three of the last five Premier League titles) is something the men's club has noticed. "We thought this would be the right time to come together. We've ironed out any difficulties that we've had in the past. I think relationship wise, there is a belief and an understanding from the women's perspective that the men were genuinely interested in women's football and the growth of it. “I think it's the perception of that, and the fact that they now have for some time understood that women's sport is very important. Also three of the board members have SMWFC president Gabrielle Giuliano (C) at the release of the One Club Policy. daughters playing at SMWFC. So their understanding of women in football has grown. There's an appreci- ation of it, you could say. I think the fact that those relationships have been built, have been growing, has giv- PHOTO: SMFC.COM.AU en comfort to our members, knowing they are genuinely interested in growing women's football." Optus wins EPL broadcast rights Panathinaikos parts Backlash as Foxtel loses rights from 2016 season In a surprise move, Optus has snatched English Premier League (EPL) broadcast rights from Foxtel's grasp. The move - believed to cost Optus $63 million a year from the 2016/17 season - has left Australian viewers scratching their heads, with many concerned they will be restricted to watching the world's most popular football league on their mobile devices. Foxtel's Fox Sports has held the EPL rights since the late 1990s and is now facing enormous backlash on social media following the announcement - with a vast number Optus has won the rights to broadcast the EPL from next season. of posts suggesting the pay television network will lose subscribers as a result Despite the reaction, reports suggest Football Federation Australia could gain from the loss of the English competition. It is believed Fox Sports provides $25 million to host the EPL, and now some of that money could be used to bolster A-League coverage - which it currently pays approximately $40 million to broadcast. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/DAVE HUNT. With the FFA keen to negotiate a new A-League broadcast deal, and get the local league on one of the prominent commercial stations, it will be keen to get its hands on the Foxtel's boosted coffers. Source: The Age The managerial shake-up continues in Greece, with Panathinaikos parting ways with Yiannis Anastasiou after just over two seasons at the helm. The move came after Panathinaikos' nil-all draw to rival AEK over the weekend, which leaves it in second place - eight points behind leader Olympiakos. The 42-year-old was praised for his emphasis on injecting the side with young Greek players throughout his tenure, and managed to win Greece's 2014 coach of the ways with Anastasiou Poor results against PAOK, AEK catalyst for ending coach’s tenure year after the side's Greek Cup triumph. Club president Yiannis Ala- fouzas praised the young coach on his time at the club. "Yiannis came in at a very difficult time for Panathinaikos in May 2013. Together we created a plan that was executed with consistency and resulted in the creation of a team that all of our fans appreciated achieved some important results," he said. "Mistakes were made on both sides during our cooperation and everyone at Panathinaikos would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him good luck in his career." Anastasiou has been replaced by 38-year-old Serb Veljko Paunovic.
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