Season 2020 - President's Message

To all our loyal players and members,

I trust you and your families are keeping well and doing the best you can under these trying circumstances. The latest COVID-19 numbers are encouraging and we remain hopeful that our members will be back on the field kicking a football again in the not too distant future.  

In welcome news, Football Victoria (FV) has also released their long awaited Refund Policy for season 2020. As you would expect, the Policy contains a lot of detailed information covering all competitions for both juniors and seniors in metropolitan and regional Victoria. In response, Ashburton’s Board of Management is now carefully reviewing the Policy and its potential impact on our Club and our members. FV has also announced the cancellation of all 2020 competitions administered by FV

From our initial review, we believe the key points in the Policy can be summarised as follows:

  • The Australian Sports Foundation has indicated a total financial loss across Australia’s community clubs of $1.6 billion in 2020
  • FV will offer refunds of various amounts across different cohorts (JBNPL, Juniors, Senior Men, Senior Women, and Masters)
  • FV will still invoice Clubs on reduced team entry fees, as well as player registration fees, despite the season not progressing
  • FV will finalise their reconciliation of Ashburton’s PlayFootball registrations and invoice clubs accordingly by 31 October 2020
  • Clubs must finalise their own Refund Policy and offer any FV refund to their players by 30 November 2020.

As a next step, we are seeking clarification from FV on some elements of the Policy. We are also reconciling the potential costs against the player registrations so we can develop a fair and equitable Club refund policy.

The difficulty we are now facing is that our Club will still need to make partial payments to FV and Football Australia even though the season didn’t commence, other than for the JBNPL season. Moreover, we have to reconcile the costs that our Club has already incurred this year, including:

  • Team entry fees
  • Coach payments
  • Ground hire and maintenance ( eg: cleaning)
  • Insurance
  • Team uniforms
  • Equipment (eg: balls, cones, bibs etc) 
  • General operating expenses (eg: office rent, advertising, printing, phones)
  • Complying with COVDSafe plans (supplying hand sanitisers and masks for each team)

Given the complexity of the situation, I would ask for your continued patience as we work through the various Club refund options. This is not an easy task and it’s unlike anything that the Club has ever faced before.

Ultimately, our objective is to ensure your Club survives and continues to offer various programs for our 70 plus teams spanning GoalKick, Junior Boys and Girls, Senior Men and Women, Masters, All Abilities and Soccer Mums. We have a great Club and we remain steadfastly committed to ensuring our Club continues to provide a valuable community service well into the future.

We will keep you updated on our progress and communicate again shortly.

For now, please keep safe and take care.


Bob Stensholt


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