League chief dodges questions on local footy’s future

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AFL SE Regional General Manager John Anderson believes that one of the two options presented in the senior football competition review will provide a “very strong premier competition”.

Anderson, who spoke in two separate videos last Wednesday, said he “believed a region of our size and stature ought to have a strong premier competition.

He went on to say that “this is a view shared by many clubs”.

Mr Anderson is consistent with this push despite 20 of the 22 MPNFL clubs responding to the recommendations last week, opposing the recommendations in the review.

All clubswere given the opportunity to put questions to Mr Anderson in an email early last week. Yours truly was also invited to provide questions.

Despite more than 20 questions being asked, Mr Anderson chose to answer only those he wanted to, before signing-off on the finished product before it was released last Friday.

Questions Mr Anderson failed to answer included:-

– The clubs have expressed interest in meeting with AFL SE collectively. Why has there been a reluctance to speak to the clubs collectively?

– Given AFL SE proposed the recommendations in the document, which have been opposed, is it not up to the administration to present additional alternatives for clubs to consider?

– If a resolution can’t be found between AFL SE and the MPNFL Clubs, where will that leave the AFL SE Region. Can AFL SE continue to be viable without the support of the MPNFL Clubs?

Another question that was asked was the impact of juniors and netball in AFL South East’s decision.

Mr Anderson chose to ignore the junior aspect of the question. In answering about netball, Mr Anderson had this to say:

“We acknowledge there’s difficulties – we’re asking for solutions – if a certain structure was in place, how would netball look?”

Isn’t that what AFL South East should be providing clubs – solutions?

Despite extending the deadline by a week, Mr Anderson said in the interview that “we understand change is difficult.”

What change is Mr Anderson referring to? Has a decision been made?

My understanding was that AFL South East was still seeking feedback.

Mr Anderson said there was an ability for the public to provide feedback.

“For interested people in the league we manage we encourage their feedback – the more of that we get the better. Our understanding is that there are people within clubs who don’t see eye to eye on the stance taken by the club,” Mr Anderson said.

Again, what has this got to do with the general public?

Feedback should only come from member clubs. Club executives have been voted by their members to represent the best interests of their club. The public’s opinion should have no bearing on AFL South East’s recommendation.

Finally, Mr Anderson said “what is in the best interests of football in this region, in the end, is what this is all about.”

Once again, MPNFL Clubs are all in agreeance that the two recommendations presented in the review are not in the best interests of their region, which includes juniors and netball.

First published in the Frankston Times – 10 July 2017

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