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I'm an aspiring sports journalist and am currently studying Professional Writing & Editing at RMIT with a view to completing a journalism degree. Sport plays a big part in my life and I don't think you will ever be able to take sport away from me no matter what I am doing or where I am in the world.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Money... ruining local football

Having been involved in grass roots football for three years before stepping up into my role with the Werribee Football Club, there is an issue which is often ignored by both league administators and Football Victoria.

It's the issue of money being used to buy a premiership and to put it quite simply, money is ruining local and country football all over Australia not just here in Victoria.

What ever happened to the idea of playing for the love of the game?

With the ridiculous amounts of money involved in football at both local and country level, the idea of playing for the love of the game has been virtually thrown out the window and as result, some clubs which have been force to fold due to not being able to compete with the richer clubs.

There are players who live in Melbourne, but play football for country clubs and being compensated with petrol money is fair enough but being paid to play at the grass roots level totally goes against what this sort of is all about, which is mates and community amongst other things.

It's all well and good for football clubs to be interested in winning premierships, but surely signing an ex AFL player or something along those lines won't exactly ensure that you win a premiership. It makes me laugh to think that some clubs actually think that by spending such large amounts of money will actually win them a premiership.

Nothing is further from the truth.

Some clubs have been known to pay these players amounts upwards of $1500, surely this would be placing strain on a club's finances if they are not exactly a rich club which can afford to also be a licensed one with poker machines and a bistro or bar which acts as another line of income.

It now comes across as if you don't you have large sums of money and/or alternatives to generate it, you are simply going to struggle to be competitive because you can't secure the signatures of ex AFL or state league players.

Within Victoria, Football Victoria and the VCFL needs to seriously discuss this issue with everyone concearned as it is just going of control, it's ruining football at the grass roots level regardless of where the clubs are.


Blogger Mick Jeffrey said...

As an addition to this, I thought I better add another state's perspective.

As some of you may know, I play local footy up here in Central Queensland. In the city of Rockhampton, there are:

3 AFL Clubs
4 Rugby League Clubs (Including the State League Team Central Comets)
4 Rugby Union Clubs
5 Soccer Clubs
4 Cricket Clubs

And the list goes on.

Up here, there have been RUMOURS, and I stress that it has been only RUMOUR that players up here at other clubs to mine that some players are getting $1000 per game. Considering that some clubs only attract a sponsorship deal worth about $2500 per season, you have to wonder how they finance it. And make no mistake, the club that he plays for was up the financial creek not so long ago.

Frankly the scene up here doesn't warrant any match payments. Not only do the clubs not have enough money (I once had to play with a pulled hamstring so the club could avoid a $600 fine for a forfeit) but this league (6 teams in total) cannot afford another team to fold or merge through financial situations.

3:30 am  

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