Sydney Olympic FC will live to play another day after reaching an agreement with the liquidators of the Forum Group, to settle claims of millions owed by the football club to the now-collapsed company.
A founding member of the National Soccer League in the ’70s, Sydney Olympic FC is the most successful association club in the history of Australian football, winning 25 trophies across domestic and international competitions, including the National Premier League NSW Men’s premiership last month.
Despite its on-field successes, the club faced an uncertain future after the collapse of Bill Papas’ Forum Group, following allegations, made in mid-2021, that Forum Finance had defrauded several banking institutions of millions.
While Mr Papas resigned as president of Sydney Olympic on 2 July, 2021, the club said it had received a demand for payment of $3.34 million from McGrathNicol, the liquidator of Forum Group Financial Services, claiming the club had borrowed the sum from the business, under Mr Papas’ management. Sydney Olympic strenuously denied any such loan arrangement and fought back.
McGrathNicol and the club have now come to a resolution, with the liquidators filing new accounts with ASIC last week outlining a “correction of error for amounts classified as related party loans”. The liquidators claimed that the error was a result of an overstatement of trade and other payables, and an understatement of revenue and retained earnings, in the year prior to 30 June, 2020.
Having settled all claims, the club’s future remains secure.