Don’t rush restructure – GFL clubs

Updated: February 9, 2016

A NUMBER of GFL clubs have called for a bedding down of the newly introduced equalisation measures before any restructure of local football goes ahead.

K rock understands eight presidents met last week ahead of a meeting tomorrow night where AFL Barwon will present its plans for the future of football and netball in the region.

From those talks, a letter has been sent to the local governing body from the clubs, however it doesn’t contain any signatories.

The letter reaffirms their 2015 position “that any moves towards restructuring the football and netball competitions in the Geelong and Bellarine Region are premature, poorly thought out and unwelcome”.

The clubs have also raised concerns with the potential introduction of a ten team premier league, which would see two current clubs relegated.

“It is the belief of the GFL clubs that no logical reasoning has been, or can be given for the proposed ten team Premier League and that our stated position has been ignored,” the letter said.

“It is our view that if the proposed restructure proceeds, AFL Barwon and the Commission are placing in jeopardy the existence of established sporting clubs and communities.

“The demotion of targeted clubs will lead to the loss of players, supporters and sponsors and will greatly impede the clubs’ ability to attract supporters, sponsors and players, particularly juniors and their families.”

They have called on AFL Barwon to allow the points system – which will be implemented in 2016 in the GFL, BFL and GDFL – and the re-introduced salary cap to be in place for three years before a restructure is considered.

“Given that meaningful change takes time, the clubs fail to understand why restructure is being considered before data is collected and analyzed and the success, or otherwise, of the AFL Victoria Equalisation Measures – Salary Cap and Points System – is assessed,” the letter continued.

The clubs say they also want guidelines attached to the equalisation measures to be enforced and believe the push into Armstrong Creek is premature.

“We’re aware some GFL club presidents met last week,” AFL Barwon Region General Manager Lee Hartman

“The points they’ve raised in the letter are similar to what was raised last year and will be addressed in tomorrow night’s presentation.”

MEANWHILE, GDFL president Neville Whitley says his executive will be guided by the wishes of the league’s 12 member clubs when making its response to AFL Barwon’s proposal.

He says a special meeting of the clubs will be called within the fortnight to receive feedback for the GDFL to take to AFL Barwon.

“We’ve had it presented to us as an executive, but just waiting to hear back the direction our clubs want to go,” he said.

“If our clubs decide they want to stay on their own, we’ll push that barrow.

“But we’re opening to listening to what they’ve (AFL Barwon) got.”

Twitter: @tom_king79