Below is a message from David Cannizzo (Chief Executive Officer of SFL) in respect of the transfer of clubs to the SFL from other leagues:
I write to provide an important update for the Southern Football League in relation to clubs applying to transfer to the SFL from other leagues.
Keysborough Football / Netball Club
As indicated recently, Keysborough Football / Netball Club sought a transfer from the Casey Cardinia Football Netball League to the SFL. Their membership voted unanimously to support the application.
The SFL spoke with KFNC in 2011, but at that time they were not interested in leaving the Casey Cardinia League. KFNC’s recent interest in seeking a transfer has come about due to a number of important reasons:
- The Keysborough area is predominately multi-cultural, where Australian Rules football is not seen as the sport of choice, hence junior participation rates are extremely low.
- Low participation rates were impacting the club’s ability to attract players and as a result significantly adding to the cost of fielding teams in the CCFNL competition.
- Competing in a single division football structure, with several dominating clubs added to the erosion of their supporter and player base to the point where the club’s viability was in question.
- It was identified by the Club’s Board that their future was best secured in a competition where a divisional structure was available for them to find their competitive balance.
The SFL Board recently received a comprehensive transfer application from the KFNC which included information on their committee, facilities, strategic direction, financials, policies, registrations i.e. incorporation and playing uniform. Members of the SFL Board and I also visited KFNC when the team was playing at home to independently observe them on and off the field. The SFL Board accepted the transfer application and applied to AFL Victoria for their final approval for the transfer to occur.
I am very pleased to advise that AFL Victoria have now approved the transfer application for KFNC to move from the CCFNL to the SFL and they will join our competition in Division 2 in 2015.
Southern Dragons Football Club
We are pleased to advise that the Southern Dragons Football Club have sought a transfer from the Victorian Amateur Football Association back to the SFL.
As you may recall the SFL lobbied very hard at the end of 2012 with the SDFC and AFL Victoria, to communicate the challenges the club faced regardless of the competition it participated in. Whilst we were disappointed the club transferred from the SFL to the VAFA, it was made very clear that the club would always be welcomed back should the executive consider that the best thing for their club. The SDFC wish to transfer back to the SFL due to some important reasons but none more vital than the club experiencing challenges in the VAFA particularly around travel and lack of identity.
The SFL Board recently received a comprehensive transfer application from the SDFC which included similar information to the Keysborough application. The SFL Board accepted the transfer application and have applied to AFL Victoria for their final approval for the transfer to occur.
After recently speaking with the VAFA, it is our understanding that it will not object the SDFC transfer request and the club will join our competition in Division 3 in 2015.
Port Melbourne Colts Football Club
Port Melbourne Colts Football Club Executive also commenced discussions with the SFL regarding a possible transfer from the Western Region Football League to the SFL.
The PMCFC were interested in a transfer to the SFL for a number of reasons:
- Their junior club affiliate (associated with South Metro Junior Football League) were keen for their players to transition via a pathway to the PMCFC but desired that the senior club play in a competition based in the South/South East of Melbourne (i.e. SFL).
- Their junior players and families mostly reside in the South/South East (of Melbourne), not the West.
- Sponsor opportunities appeared greater in the South/South East as opposed to the West.
- SFL Under 19s is more attractive that the WRFL Under 18s as the SFL format allows to recruit from a greater age range.
The PMCFC Executive advised that they would seek a transfer to the SFL provided they were graded into Division 1 on the basis they are currently graded in Division 1 in the WRFL. They were not willing to be graded into a lower division. Like KFNC, the SFL visited PMCFC on a number of occasions when the team was playing at home to independently observe them on and off the field, and also invited the club to present to the SFL Board on further information about their club.
Whilst there is very little doubt that PMCFC is well run and would likely perform satisfactorily in SFL Division 1, the SFL Board believed that all clubs regardless of their motivation to join the SFL must earn the right to participate in Division 1. Accordingly, at best PMCFC would have been graded into Division 2 for the 2015 season.
We have recently communicated the SFL grading position to the PMCFC and they have advised that they will not be seeking a transfer to the SFL for the time being. The SFL will continue discussions with the PMCFC as we believe the reasons motivating them to consider a transfer to the SFL will not change in the coming years, especially when the junior club players are of an age to transition to the seniors.
The SFL Football Operations Portfolio (Sub-Committee) will be meeting in early November to discuss the competition structure for Division 2 and 3 for 2015. The SFL Board’s final determination regarding the result of the Division 3 Senior Grand Final and consequently promotion from Division 3 will also come into consideration.
The Sub-Committee will discuss the matter further in the coming weeks and we will provide an update to all clubs once the competition structure and fixture decisions have been determined.
Chief Executive Officer
Southern Football League”