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Football appointment welcomed by Minister

Hon Clayton Cosgrove
Minister for Sport and Recreation

2 May 2008 Media Statement
Football appointment welcomed by Minister

Minister for Sport and Recreation Clayton Cosgrove today welcomed the appointment of an independent commissioner to work with New Zealand Football (NZF), saying it would help get one of the country’s most important sports back on a sound financial footing.

The person appointed is Nelson Cull, previously Chairperson of Netball NZ’s Finance and Audit Committee, who brings a wealth of experience both from the sport and commercial sectors.

NZF has been under continual financial pressure. Last month the government agency Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) provided NZF with a $300,000 cash injection as well as up to an additional $300,000 to assist NZF in meeting the interest costs on its $1.5million bank loan.

One of the conditions of this package is the appointment of an independent commissioner who would report back to SPARC’s Board to ensure there is operational sustainability and accountability for NZF’s finances. “It is critical that the taxpayer’s money is accounted for and spent wisely – and I congratulate NZF on taking the opportunity to work with an independent commissioner to put the sport on a more stable footing,” said Mr Cosgrove.

Mr Cosgrove said football is such an important grassroots sport that it cannot be allowed to fail.

“Football has one of the highest participation rates among children and adults so it is vital that it is well managed from the top right down to the community clubs. This won’t be fixed by simply propping the sport up financially. We have to invest the time, expertise and resources to ensure its future viability, and this is where SPARC and the independent commissioner can play their part.”

Mr Cosgrove said that football is not the only sport that’s had difficulty managing its budgets in the face of challenges such as changes to traditional funding sources and the need to attract volunteers with the ability to manage modern clubs and fixtures. And he says other sports may in future also need to accept help in order to keep delivering sport at a grassroots and national level.

“The government recognises the pressures that clubs are under and the need to get involved, where necessary, to improve management structures and bring about positive change. Money alone will not solve the problem.”

SPARC is the Crown entity responsible for promoting, encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand.


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