PDFL now shut out

March 06, 2018

The standoff between AFL Goulburn Murray and Picola District Football Netball League has come to a head.

The PDFNL board failed to sign an affiliation agreement by the deadline AFL GM set out (5pm yesterday) and its competition will be removed from AFL Victoria’s systems.

The board already had a meeting scheduled, for 7pm yesterday, before it was given the final deadline.

But AFL GM region general manager Martin Gleeson said yesterday that no matter what came out of the meeting his decision would not be altered.

‘‘We’ll be writing to them (the PDFNL board) to advise them that we have not received any indication by the set deadline,” Gleeson said.

‘‘We’ll have to now roll back their affiliation agreement.

‘‘At the end of the day it is a choice that they have made and, unfortunately, we have to draw a line in the sand and roll back the agreement.

‘‘There is only so many times we can keep bending and bending, we’re only a month out from the start of the season.’’

The dramatic outcome has resulted from a distinct breakdown in communication between the two organisations.

Members of the PDFNL hierarchy have said in recent weeks the two parties had not met face-to-face in up to five years, although the AFL GM cancelled a scheduled meeting at short notice on Monday last week.

Gleeson highlighted last night’s deadline was the fourth the PDFNL board had missed, and with the season fast-approaching he felt his organisation was left with no choice.

‘‘They (the PDFNL board) were asked to sign the agreement by 5pm,’’ he said.

‘‘This is the fourth deadline since December that they have missed now without a response, and unfortunately we have to move on.’’

The immediate fallout from this situation is that the PDFNL will lose access to the AFL Victoria services, such as insurance policies, access to Sports TG databases (covering fixturing, clearances and club websites among other things) and inclusion in talented player pathways.

But the wider result could be much greater if individual clubs decide they wish to remain affiliated.

‘‘It is now a decision for the clubs to make,’’ Gleeson said.

‘‘We need to make sure the clubs are looked after, and if a number of them wish to remain affiliated we would be negligent if we weren’t finding an opportunity for them to do so.

‘‘If we had to (start a new competition), it would be a football and netball competition.’’

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