Members of the CCMOSC committee met with Bruce Stalder and Mike Charlesworth (via Skype) on Monday the 22/12/14. At this meeting we received and discussed the following response to our recent letter about playing home matches at any other venue other than Central Coast Stadium. Below is Mike's response to your concerns:-

 



Dear Erin

Thank you for your email dated the 4th December.

Let me firstly address the subject around our Northern Sydney strategy and why this is important for the clubs sustainable future. The club under different management teams have continually lost money since the clubs inception. In not one year did the Club even get close to breaking even and I'm happy to show the audited reports from each year.

In fact my initial investment in the club and Centre of Excellence back in January 2011 paid debts resulting from year 1 and my subsequent investments have kept the club alive and in most years kicking goals. Under the new management team put in place in January 2014 the single most important goal was to create a model that could retain the clubs survival and prosperity for 100 years based on the Central Coast.

In earlier years the Mariners have played a number of home matches outside Gosford to take advantage of potential cost savings, likewise other professional sports clubs commonly do the same, ie Adelaide United playing future games in Darwin and in the AFL Hawthorn playing matches in Tasmania. It should also be noted that 10-11 games in any one location across Australia is statistically the ultimate number of matches to commercially drive revenues. In previous 6 to 7 seasons our home attendances have tended to drop off towards the end of the season when quite often we have played vital play off matches. This is down to the fans budgets and a belief that there is potentially too much content for such a small geographic population that the Central Coast holds.

A question could be asked to the supporter club, where would you ideally want additional games (1, 2 or 3) played outside Gosford if the costs continue to be favourable? NSO is only 1 hr away from Gosford on a good run and the commercial opportunities around this region far outweigh those of the Central Coast. Likewise growing our fan base in this region from over 1000 members today to a target of 5000 is achievable unlike other Cities around Australia.

There has been much speculation about the Mariners 'moving' home. This has been fuelled by a small number of self-serving individuals who simply don't have the clubs best long term interests at heart. We intend to negotiate with Gosford council around a long term commitment to playing a minimum of 10-11 games a season in Central Coast Stadium. We are also one of the biggest investors in the Coast creating subsequent employment through the ongoing development of the Centre Of Excellence that is now constructing a 10,000 metre office building, gymnasium and indoor futsal court with a hotel, Mariners club and conference centre planned for construction in late 2015 early 2016. We are arguably one of the biggest investors in the region right now, this is not the sign of a club leaving town !

In reference to our community work in the region, this has increased since the Graham Arnold era however I do accept the level of player activity is not what it was during the Lawrie days. We are looking at this but appreciate your ongoing feedback on how we can improve as a community club which I agree is vital.

Working with the OSC is important along with engaging fans to bring their friends and family along to games in Gosford on an ongoing basis. This is also the responsibility of our fans today not just the club, we need to be averaging over 10000 fans to non derby games just to break even on match day and this clearly is our target.

I do welcome negative as long as its measured feedback and look forward to attending even if it is by Skype the forthcoming meetings with the OSC.

Mike Charlesworth

Our letter to Mike clearly stated the position of the OSC and it's members in relation to this matter. The purpose of publishing this response in it's entirety is to ensure our members and all fans can read the owner's complete comments without any media person's interpretation.

The OSC Committee