Re: “Lakapi Samoa records $6.7 million loss”

To: Editorial Board 

Samoa Observer

Vaitele.

From: Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai Chief Executive Officer

Lakapi Samoa.

I wish to respond to the above headline article as posted in social media and published by the Samoa Observer on the 7th December.

The report that your Reporter is referring to is the Treasurer's Annual Audited Report presented at the AGM on the 25th November 2021. 

The Treasurer's Report referred that the Union’s Income (revenue) decreased from 2019 to 2020 of $6.7m tala.

 There was also a decrease in Expenditure of $5.9m tala and the overall net loss for the year 2020 was $542k tala. The huge drop in income for 2020 from $12.5m in 2019 to $5.8m in 2020 ($6.7m decrease) are from losses in sponsorship (no fixtures) and revenue generating activities (hosts matches, gate takings etc.) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel and border restrictions. 

The Union reacted with swift measures by prudently reducing its costs for 2020. Expenditure dropped from $12.3m in 2019 to $6.4m in 2020 ($5.9m decrease). Every effort was made to a limited domestic programs and operations during the year which minimized the overall loss to ST542K tala for YR2020.

As CEO of Lakapi Samoa, it’s really disappointing and frustrating that the heading of the article is an attempt to mislead. 

To quote that Lakapi Samoa records $6.7m loss is a misrepresentation that is interpreted; that the Union’s annual loss is 6.7m. 

The net loss of $542k is referred to in the body of the article but the headline is a total misrepresentation of the financial accounts of the Union. 

It is obvious that your Reporter did not understand the Financial Report nor bothered to reach out for clarification and comment from Lakapi Samoa.

Samoa Observer’s heading has already created huge negativity and unfair scathing attacks on all social media forums towards Lakapi Samoa. 

The actual comments and respond of the public noted in your FB page, comments are all made without reading the article but based on your 6.7m loss heading. 

Lakapi Samoa is in the middle of various commercial sponsorship negotiations with external potential partners and with noted public commentary, it is a huge setback to our efforts to raise our Union’s potential and profile.

The impact of COVID has affected all national Unions globally over the last two years and World Rugby having to assist with the majority of its member Unions and Lakapi Samoa is no different.

I trust that you will retract and re-print a true state of affairs of the Union as reflected in its Annual Audited Financial Report in the front page of your newspaper as the damage has already been done by your misrepresentation.

Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Samoa Observer

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