By Chris Ruffell
During 2015 NZF undertook club input throughout the country around the preferred structure of the current National League. One common theme throughout was a desire to have promotion / relegation at the core of any changes. Based on 2015 results Eastern Suburbs AFC, Napier City Rovers and Cashmere Tech would have entered a playoff to replace Southern United. In the application process currently underway, only Eastern Suburbs AFC from that group has expressed an interest in joining the league.
Whilst performance on the field in most leagues in the world is the single determining factor in promotion / relegation, history has taught us here in NZ that financial sustainability and participation are not always linked. Sensibly, for that reason NZF are looking at a much wider range of criteria including facilities, player pathways, crowd generation and financial feasibility.
Currently ESAFC have enough money in the bank to play in the league for three years without requiring $1 of income. Spending that money however is not part of the plan. We currently have an annual turnover of $1.2M and employ 10 people full time in administrative and coaching capacities, including a UEFA pro licence DOF. Aside from providing coaching to our 2300 registered players, we also run programs in 5 local Secondary Schools.
Eastern Suburbs will base our home games at Ngahue Reserve which is currently under construction. The two fully floodlit international sized artificial turfs and complimentary changing rooms are part of the stage one development which has been completed. The stage 2 development which is scheduled to be completed in Nov 2016 includes; Oceania Football Confederation offices, a full sized international Futsal Court, changing facilities for 4 teams, physio rooms, clubrooms with bar, media facilities, gymnasium, creche’, floodlights to TV requirements, two separate warm up areas and car parking for 300 cars. The stage 3 development involves a 260 bed accommodation facility on site.
It has taken a phenomenal amount of work over the past 6 years to get the club into this position. We are certainly hopeful NZF see our current status as suitable to compete at the next level as we potentially transition back to a club based National League.
[This is the first in a series of guest posts from bidding entities stating why they would make great ASB Premiership clubs. If you are bidding for a spot and would like to participate in this feature, e-mail me via casagiordani at orcon dot net dot nz – I have already been in touch with some but don’t have contact details for everyone. I’m not leaving you out on purpose! 🙂 ]
Categories: NZ Men's National League
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.