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Presidents Update. 20.7.2023

President Neil Ballment, VPresident John Lang and Secretary Rod Goldsworthy sat down for a meeting with the new CEO Kaz Patafta and COO Zac Anderson (On the 2nd day on the job), to talk about supporter’s expectations for the future direction of the club as well asproblems of the past. We are pleased to report that there is an eagerness and enthusiasm from Kaz and Zac that we have not previously experienced at the club, This we found to be a breath of fresh air

1) How did they become CEO and COO

Late last year the Bakries started looking for new management for the club. The owners were not happy with the results of the club and wanted to see change. They knew they needed a full time CEO/manager on the ground at the Club and Zac was approached earlier this year about taking on the role. Zac did his due diligence of the club and suggested to Bakries that Kaz’s experience in football and as a lawyer would be beneficial to the club to where everyone from the Owners, Players and Supporters believed the club should be. That is if not the top club in the league then up there as one of the best run clubs with the best supporters. Kaz also did his due diligence and believes he along with Zac can make a differenceBUT it will not be an overnight turnaround.

It is important to understand that the Club recruited Zac through a professional Agency and Zac, realising the job was a large one, Zac reached out to Kaz to provide legal and other business expertise. The Club’s owners nor Zac & Kaz knew each other before Zac & Kaz were recruited. Kaz and Zac worked together at Macdonald Patafta as well as playing in the A-League together.

This recruitment process is in line with the advice given to the RSF by Chris Fong, months ago that he was temporary only and that the Club was looking to recruit a new CEO.

Kaz & Zac believe the Club needs to be returned to better management from the top down. They started immediately, with meetings of Staff and Players and discussions with the Sponsors as well as groups like the RSF. They plan to gain a better understanding of all issues by listening to all stake holders including players, staff, sponsors and fans.

2) Rumours of new ownership of the club?

NO the club has not been sold, Zac and Kaz are not on a “try before you buy” mission. BUT they will be and as of last week are the face of the Club  Rumours about the Club being sold are just that Rumours. We asked that question quite directly and were given a clear answer.

3) Player Recruitment.

The new direction of the club is that they will NOT be signing players just because it is thought the club needed a new number 10 etc (in a bid to attract fans).The past practice of signing an aged “named” Player who comes to play out their career, which we have all seen in recent times, will NOT be happening. Yes players are required, but the choice will be based on OBJECTIVE data, current form and not past playing history. There will be no more aged or unfit players coming to Roar for a holiday. The idea is for careful scouting and data analysis to be done with a view to obtaining players with impact in the way that was done previously with Broich and Berisha. Zac gave us a brief look at the scouting and data analysis tools which he is personally using to assist in player recruitment. Both Kaz and Zac will be working closely with the football department to recruit strategically and not haphazardly, and ensuring that all players who play for Roar understand the importance of playing for the club.

They believe that it is important to provide an avenue of progression for Footballers in Queensland and so the Club will work long term to develop and produce players from within Queensland. The Club can then gain by transferring some of these players to overseas clubs. This will mean working with the Queensland football community, to give juniors a direction and vision for their future.

4) Finances?

In the few days Kaz and Zac have been at the club they have found some practices have not met the high standard a professional club/business should operate on. So they have started to address these issues immediately. The Bakries have given a commitment to support the club financially, with the proviso that the club is run on a more professional basis. They are aware of the Logan situation and this past history had already been sorted and is no longer an issue. To demonstrate this, we were told that they are currently speaking personally to each and every Club creditor, to get a proper understanding of the financial position of the Club.

They made it clear to us that Nirwan Bakrie has assured them that he will continue to support the Club financially as long as the club maintains professional management.

5) Womens team? The club is fully behind both the Womens and Academy teams and will be supporting them to achieve the results we all know we can get. There will be no second-class citizens at the Roar.

As former professional Footballers themselves, they have an appreciation for the proper standards and support required and will ensure that this is provided to all Roar Teams.

6) Ballymore and Albany Creek training facilities.

Both of these are yet to be sorted, and the club will talk more about these in coming months.

7) Playing strip.

They have arrived (yes we saw the new design in the flesh) There will be announcements and a Strip Launch soon.

8) MAJOR sponsor?

Yes there is a major sponsor which has signed on for three years and they will be officially announcing in coming days.

9) Communication.

We discussed the need for better communication between club and supporters and that the lack of communication leads to a vacuum which is usually filled with rumours etc. Kaz and Zac understand and intend to start their communication. (The fan forum will be everyone’s opportunity to put it to the test in coming weeks). We spent some time on this discussion. We are greatly reassured that communication and personal engagement with Fans is at the top of their list of priorities.

Following our meeting with Kaz and Zac we  feel confident we will see major changes and improvements coming to the club. We urge all supporters to get behind the club, the players and support the efforts in turning the club around. Remember without the Supporters a club is just a bunch of players running around the pitch with little direction.

Zac and Kaz made it clear that they were keen to keep up regular and frequent consultation with the RSF and other supporter groups.

Neil Ballment

President Roar Supporters Federation.