Dear SBA Members and General SBA Community,
Board Update & Media Statement
We wanted to respond to you direct about matters concerning the SBA and its Board arising from a recent article published online by the Bayside Leader Newspaper on 27 June 2019 and picked up by the Herald Sun online news feed. We are also aware that the article has been republished and distributed by individuals on social media.
The article clearly identifies the SBA as the target and makes statements that are not substantiated by facts. We have concluded that those unsubstantiated statements were designed to cause and to continue to cause damage to the reputation of the SBA, its Board and Operations Management.
The SBA, its Board and Operations Management refute the unsubstantiated and damaging statements made in the article. The SBA rejects the inferences the article attempts to draw.
The SBA reserves all rights and is seeking advice as to potential remedy. The SBA also reserves all rights in respect to potential redress against those who are the known source of the article.
Given the nature of the SBA’s possible redress we do not intend to publicly respond to all statements made in the article. However, we provide the following response on certain aspects that might be of concern to Members and the general SBA community.
- The Board – four directors resigned from the SBA Board in June for individual and personal reasons. Those individual decisions have no short- or medium-term impact on the operations of the SBA. Our Constitution provides for such eventualities and will ensure the stability of the SBA. The Board is at present in caretaker mode whilst Board members are replaced. We don’t anticipate any significant delay. The SBA is not in disarray.
- Finances – Full detail of the SBA’s 2017/18 financial position was published in the SBA’s 2018 Annual Report. The SBA’s finances are audited quarterly by an independent accounting firm, Tudor & Co, appointed by the members following the Board’s recommendation at the last AGM. Full financial statements are provided to the members at each AGM and submitted to Consumer Affairs annually. The SBA complies fully with its financial obligations. The forecast financial benefits of implementing the recommendations of the 2018 operational review are now being released and are being reinvested into our basketball programs. The SBA is in a strong financial position.
- Domestic Competition – Our Domestic Competition remains strong and vibrant with a record number of participants and teams this season. The SBA Operations Team and Board have rebuilt positive relationships with all clubs and their committees. The Board and Operations Team continue to enjoy the support of its members.
- Sabres Junior Program – our junior teams continue to go from strength to strength. This season 2018/19 we have fielded a record 33 junior Sabres teams in the MUVJBL competition. We have 7 teams playing in VC or VC reserve in 2018/19 season. There were 8 teams playing in VC or VC reserve in 2017/18 season. 3 teams played in this season’s National Junior Classics. 2 teams played in 2018. This success is attributed to the great work of our Operations Team, our Boys and Girls Head coaches, our rep team coaches, players, support staff, volunteers and families. The Junior Program will be expanded further next season, providing more opportunity for junior talent and coaches in the region. We will continue to invest in this area. Our junior representative program will continue to develop and provide opportunities for local junior talent.
- NBL1 – The NBL1 league is in its first season. The SBA has adopted a ‘home grown player’ policy to give our local players an opportunity to play in the country’s second tier league rather than offering significant player payments to overseas players. This has allowed us to field a team of young Sabres talent this season supported by local professional players and a highly experienced coaching staff. In May the Board reaffirmed the policy along with approving increased funding to support our NBL1 program. We are very proud of what our players, coaches and support staff have achieved this season in this new league. No one knew what to expect. Both our men’s and women’s teams have been more than competitive in an otherwise injury-riddled season. They continue to do a fantastic job and the SBA will continue to support them. Reports of a senior player exodus are simply untrue.
- New Courts – the new courts project is progressing as planned. We have a good working relationship and partnership with council, and we enjoy the continued support of Basketball Victoria. Several funding models are being considered. We will shortly commence a publicity campaign to provide our members with regular progress updates and opportunities to get involved in this exciting community project. The new courts project is not at risk.
It is disappointing that the SBA is forced to dedicate precious time and resource to defend the opportunistic attacks of an external minority who are motivated by self-interest. We ask all members to trust that the Board and the Operations Team continue to work only in the best interest of the SBA and its members. Nothing has changed in that respect.
You can contact the Board if you have any questions or concerns via email
Thank you for your ongoing support