Doubt cast over Sydney Olympic FC finances with over $1.5 million owed to company controlled by Bill Papas’ Forum Group

Doubt cast over Sydney Olympic FC finances with over $1.5 million owed to company controlled by Bill Papas’ Forum Group 1

Doubt has been cast over the financial standing of Sydney Olympic FC, as it surfaces the popular community football club owed millions of dollars to companies controlled by its directors, including Bill Papas’ Forum Group.

It has been divulged Sydney Olympic owed Forum Group $1.51 million as at the end of the 2018 financial year. An additional $583,000 was owed to Titan Cranes, the business operated by the last remaining Sydney Olympic director, Damon Hanlin.

There have been no financial accounts published for Sydney Olympic FC by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for the 2019 and 2020 financial years. Nevertheless, sources advise the financial accounts would have been submitted to Football NSW for the club to be able to participate in the National Premier League.

In the 2017 financial year, Sydney Olympic had related party payables (liabilities) of $948,105, compared with zero in the 2016 financial year. In the 2018 financial year, related party payables increased to almost $2.1 million. The notes in the financial accounts do not disclose who the funds are owed to.

The funds owed to Forum Group by Sydney Olympic could become a focus of Westpac, French bank Société Générale and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan, which obtained freezing assets over the assets of Mr. Papas and numerous Forum Group entities.

According to its financial accounts, Sydney Olympic FC recorded losses of nearly $977,000 and $810,000, in financial years 2018 and 2017 respectively. The community club does not own land or buildings, and as of 30 June 2018, it had total assets of less than $87,000 and total liabilities of nearly $2.3 million.

This led to the club’s accountants in 2018 to declare material doubt concerning its “ability to continue as a going concern and … may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business”.

Mr Papas became a director of Sydney FC on 16th February 2016, with Mr Hanlin joining the board shortly after on 9th June 2016. Mr. Papas resigned as president of Sydney Olympic on 2nd July 2021 following shocking allegations by Westpac that Forum Finance had defrauded the bank of nearly $285 million.

Sydney Olympic FC was formed in 1957 by Greek immigrants under the name Pan-Hellenic and it was a founding club of the National Soccer League in the 1970’s when it changed its name to Sydney Olympic