19 September 2017
The North Ballarat Football Club has proudly represented Ballarat and the Greater Western region of Victoria in the VFL Competition for 22 Seasons.
On Thursday 14 September 2017, the Club was informed by AFL Victoria this would not continue.
The Club is extremely disappointed and frustrated by this decision made by AFL Victoria and believe it is a huge injustice to the Club, but more-so to the thousands of people involved including the players, members, officials, coaches and parents – all of whom give so much to our Club and are the lifeblood of football in our region.
The Club believes it presented to the Executive Management of AFL Victoria an honest and transparent assessment of the Club’s position and identified key strategies, including completed, current and future actions to build a Club the region would be proud of.
The North Ballarat Board of Directors is unanimous in its view that excluding the Roosters from the VFL in 2018 will have a detrimental effect on the Club and its ability to re-join the competition in 2019. We are disappointed that AFL Victoria has chosen not to assist and support the Club’s plans to rebuild, instead sidelining VFL in Ballarat.
To date we have received minimal correspondence with AFL Victoria. The letter we received gave only the outcome and did not offer any explanation as to how or why they came to their decision. It’s only via the media that we learn it was (apparently) based on the Club’s lack of financial security, AFL Victoria’s reference to turmoil in our governance structure over the previous two to three years and that it would take time to establish a new regionalised presence.
I’d like to take this opportunity to assure the people of Ballarat and the Greater Western Victoria region that:
1. Our Club together with the Sports Club are both in a very strong financial position, are profitable and have no debt. In the past 12 months, the Club has provided over $700K in grassroots donations including funding to the VFL team, local sporting clubs and community organisations, and still recorded an operating profit.
2. The Board have been working diligently since elected in February 2017 to develop a new governance structure which would ensure the long-term stability and prosperity of a VFL team to represent Ballarat and the Greater Western region in 2018 along with a solid structure within the club itself. This was very clearly outlined and presented to AFL Victoria with a set of transparent and measurable deliverables.
The Club has requested an urgent and detailed explanation from the Board of Directors and Executive of AFL Victoria to clearly identify the key criteria that the North Ballarat Football Club has not either met or addressed in order to satisfy their requirements. Unfortunately, at this time, this request has not been granted.
I would like to invite all Members to attend an Information Session to be held at the North Ballarat Sports Club on Wednesday 27 September 2017 commencing at 7pm. At this meeting, we will outline the position of the club and plans moving forward, there will be opportunity to ask questions.
To our Members and the people of Ballarat and Greater Western region, we can assure you – we are 100% committed to you and we will not give up. Our Members and the Community we serve are our greatest asset and the North Ballarat Football Club will work tirelessly to have a team that represents Ballarat and the Greater Western region back in the VFL and build a Club that is bigger, better and stronger than ever.
North Ballarat Football Club