The lights have gone out on Mathoura's hopes to host the Picola and District Football Netball League grand final.August 15, 2014 3:36pm
UPDATE: AFL Goulburn Murray has expressed disappointment in the Picola and District Football Netball League’s decision to move the north-west division grand final.
AFL Goulburn Murray region general manager Martin Gleeson criticised the PDFNL’s decision to move the September 6 grand final from Mathoura to Yarroweyah based on the positioning of two light towers at the Mathoura Recreation Reserve netball courts.
‘‘The unilateral decision by the PDFNL Board to move the Grand Final from Mathoura, without stakeholder support, will undoubtedly have a significantly negative impact on one of the Leagues member clubs and their town."
‘‘Unfortunately, the Commission and AFL Victoria Country do not have the power to override the PDFNL decision.’’
Mr Gleeson also said ‘‘the league’s approach and attitude around this decision has been less than ideal’’.
PDFNL president Shane Railton has responded, expressing disappointment in AFL Goulburn Murray’s handling of the issue.
‘‘The netball courts do not meet guidelines,’’ Mr Railton said.
‘‘We have only until recently (last Friday) sought and gained clarification from Netball Victoria.
‘‘We have a number of clubs which have spent (thousands of dollars) to get their netball courts to a (certain) standard. The PDFNL believes it’s fair and reasonable that all clubs meet that reasonable standard.
‘‘We’re extremely disappointed in AFL Goulburn Murray’s involvement.’’
EARLIER: The lights have gone out on Mathoura's hopes to host the Picola and District Football Netball League grand final.
Following a drawn-out dispute in recent weeks over the position of light poles at Mathoura Recreation Reserve, a decision has been made to host the grand final at Yarroweyah.
Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich described the decision as a ‘‘massive kick in the guts’’ for Mathoura and its football netball club.
Cr Weyrich said Netball Victoria had given the green light for the grand final to go ahead at Mathoura, as long as padding was placed around the light poles.
A mediation session was held on Thursday afternoon — with no resolution.
The Riv understands that following the mediation session, the PDFNL announced the new location of the grand final.
Murray Shire councillors will now discuss the matter further at a council meeting on Tuesday.
Cr Weyrich said Netball Victoria will send a representative to the shire meeting, as will AFL Country Victoria, to support MFNC in its bid to host the grand final.
Legal action is being considered and an injunction is being sought.
PDFNL president Shane Railton said the decision to move the grand final to Yarroweyah was put forward at a board meeting on Monday night, but not signed off until yesterday's mediation session.
Mr Railton maintained the light poles were not the sole issue underlying the dispute, but refused to comment further.
MFNC president Tim McCormick was informed of the decision to move the grand final after the mediation session.
“We're obviously not very happy about it. It’s reached that stage that no one wanted it to get to," he said.
Netball Victoria does not wish to comment on the matter at this stage.
More in Monday's Riv.
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