K rock Football

Restructure off … for now

AFL Barwon says it remains committed to the restructuring of local football and netball despite announcing it won’t go ahead in 2019.

The AFL Barwon Commission, which met on July 3 to discuss a range of issues surrounding the restructure, has tonight told the 22 clubs it administers and governs of the delay.

Representatives from AFL Barwon have also attended tonight’s GDFL delegates meeting to inform them of their decision.

Under the proposal, two teams would have been relegated out of the GFL and two demoted from the BFL at the end of this year.

That would have seen the GFL return to a 10-team competition for the first time since 1991, the BFL remain at 10 teams, and the GDFL expanded to 14 teams in a single division.

AFL Barwon will revisit the proposal, where it will work through the criteria document and investigate the merits of weighting the netball sections.

“Although disappointing that the restructure will not proceed in 2019, we still believe in the concept as the sustainability of some clubs still remains a concern in their current competitions,” AFL Barwon chair Craig Keating said in a statement.

“With average football margins at 60 points in all three leagues, netball (margins) at 25 goals and some clubs still remaining unfinancial, there is a real concern about the future of some clubs that cannot compete both on and off the field.

“We will make sure we are working with all clubs to find an appropriate solution moving forward.”

However, the door is open for clubs to change leagues for 2019, as allowed under AFL Victoria rules

AFL Barwon says clubs may also be required to “show cause” to remain in a competition for the following season at the end of next year.

The Commission is also open to promotion and relegation between the GFL and BFL only if the administration of the GDFL doesn’t fall in under AFL Barwon.

If AFL Barwon can’t get its restructure proposal over the line, it will consider weighting the player points and salary caps as other means of competition equalisation.

Twitter: @tom_king79

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