Martin C. Barry
In the aftermath of a major reorganization over the past two years, the Chomedey Soccer Club is back on track to re-establishing itself as one of Quebec’s leading soccer organizations, although it would appear there may still be some hurdles.
During the Chomedey Soccer Club’s annual general meeting at the Centre Saint-Joseph on Nov. 29, club president Samuel Topalian maintained in an interview with the Laval News that the CSC is back on its way to stability following an administrative reorganization that began in 2016.
A positive report
“All debts are paid and the club has a $78,000 surplus,” he said, referring to the report on the CSC’s state of finances dated from this past Aug. 31. The current board, which began a mandate to rebuild the organization in 2016, was dealing at that time with a debt of $165,000, said Topalian.
He explained how they managed to get things under control. “We controlled and cut unnecessary expenses,” he said. “And that’s it. It was mostly that. The services remained the same. Nothing changed in services for the kids. On the contrary, we hired new instructors, new coaches for them.”
‘Reform and renewal’
In the president’s annual report to the more than 100 people attending, Topalian noted that 2018 has been a year “marked by the reform and renewal” of the CSC’s team of technical experts. He said the technical team grew during this time from three to 10 members, including Georges Strantzalis who is licensed by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
As well, according to Topalian, three of the CSC’s four AAA teams won spots for the first time in the prestigious Coupe du Québec tournament. The CSC also became affiliated in 2018 with the Greece-based PAOK FC, while CSC members took part in a PAOK-sponsored training camp which exposed them to a professional level of soccer.
Club mergers looming
In his report, Topalian also pointed out that following recommendations made by the Canadian Soccer Association as well as by the Association régionale de soccer de Laval, the CSC has begun preliminary talks with the Delta and Fabrose soccer clubs with an eye on an eventual merger. However, the talks have slowed to a crawl, he added, partly because the CSC board has been unable to discuss the matter in more depth up to now.
During a segment of the meeting for the tabling of a treasury report, CSC board treasurer Tom Athanasios claimed he had been unable to prepare one. “Up to this date, I have no access to the bank statements, the accounts or anything, so I didn’t prepare anything today and I apologize for that,” he said.
Audited statement tabled
In spite of this, an audited financial statement, prepared by the accounting firm Lacroix Allaire Héroux Beaudry, certifying the CSC’s latest finances as being completely in order, was tabled and entered into the record. LAHB is the same accounting firm that audits the books for ARS Laval.
During an open question period, the issue of the treasurer’s access to bank statements was raised. While Athanasios was apologetic, he also defended himself, saying that family and work obligations, as well as unforeseeable circumstances, prevented him from fulfilling all his obligations on the board.
Denies treasurer’s claim
Following the meeting, Topalian was asked by the Laval News to comment on Athanasios’s claim he didn’t have access to the CSC’s bank account. “The treasurer has always access to the bank account,” he responded, maintaining that the treasurer missed board meetings.
“He never asked at the meetings,” he added. “At meetings of the CA, we put them on the table and all CA members they have access.” Topalian maintained, “Since June he didn’t present himself at CA meetings.” He said Athanasios was elected last year to a two-year term and has a year left in his mandate.