K rock Football

We could play without crowd: Power

Newcomb players huddle up during a match in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

NEWCOMB president Matt Farrow says the Power would be able to survive without traditional game-day income if a shortened season goes ahead.

But he’s also questioned how crowds could be locked out of local football if mass gatherings remain banned as Victoria works its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the State of Emergency to be reviewed on May 11, community clubs are likely to find out from AFL Victoria at some stage next week whether there is the hope of taking to the field.

Farrow said Newcomb’s financial situation was now at a point where it wouldn’t be reliant on gate takings and food and beverage sales to meet its commitments this year.

“It will be tough,” he admitted. “In reality, if we get underway and we play 50 per cent (of the season), the salary cap is only $27,500 because it’s down to 25 per cent for nine games.

“From that side of things, we can certainly achieve it.

“But to keep the crowd away, how do you keep a person away from a public reserve?”

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Farrow, who replaced the long-serving Damien Mahoney at last year’s AGM, admitted he would be “devastated” for Newcomb’s footballers and netballers if the 2020 season was cancelled.

“As a committee, we are running a business, and there are significant costs that go into it,” he said.

“But, let’s not lose sight of the players and the community. They want a season. They’ve done all this hard work.

“It’s not necessarily about the money for me. We would have paid to the (salary) cap this year. We have a good business model in place to support that.

“But, at the end of the day, we can’t lose sight that it’s a game people love as well.

“To me, that’s the most important thing, so let’s see if we can give it to them.”

As well as finding itself on a good financial footing, the Power is set to see some improvements at its Newcomb Sand & Soil Oval base.

The City of Greater Geelong has allocated $425,000 in next year’s draft budget towards improved lighting and a masterplan for the upgrade of the ageing Davies Pavillion.

“Especially the changerooms, and for the players to have a gym put in,” Farrow said.

“We also need to prepare for the growth in female football because right now they’re just not to standard at all.”

Twitter: @tom_king79