It’s time for a change of leadership



THE time has come for Peninsula and Nepean Football Leagues to take control.

The farsical nature of the handling of the Player Points System issue this week by the MPNFL highlighted the fact that the current administration of the league is incapable of governing effectively.

The member clubs’ appointed MPNFL Board is also incapable of providing the necessary direction to their appointed administration.

The time has come for Nepean and Peninsula clubs to cease complaining about the constant poor administration of their league administration and stop accepting mediocrity.

It’s time for the clubs to demand strong leadership and direction and football administration best practice.

Casey-Cardinia Football League, or the new South East Football Netball League (SEFNL) as it is known now, bit the bullet 12 months ago and defected from the auspices of the MPNFL, which was then PCN Alliance.

The nine member clubs in SEFNL cited poor administration and poor representation as the key reasons for their defection.

Six months on and SEFNL are still skipping to the footy each week and celebrating what a successful decision it was to fall under the new management of the AFL South East commission.

Following the MPNFL’s mismanagement of the Player Points System issues through the week, it’s now time for the Nepean and Peninsula League clubs to seriously reconsider their position.

What unfolded last week was embarressing for the MPNFL.

In short, two clubs challenged the vilidity of the Player Points allocated to Somerville coach David Hirst. Last year Hirst was listed as a marquee player in some games and this year he is a one point player.

Somerville has done absolutely nothing wrong here. They have been working with the league since December, 2014 to help them manage their PPS. They have documentation and written advice and permissions from the MPNFL outlining what players are worth.

Somerville has no reason to challenge the league’s determination of their own rules.

Other clubs do have the right to do so, however, and two clubs exercised that right two weeks ago.

The league didn’t deal with the situation two weeks ago because they said interleague was “more important”.

However, last week, they went into lock down and hiding. The administration failed to communicate with their member clubs in the appropriate, respectful fashion. This is common, where clubs receive absolutely no acknowledgement of correspondence.

What followed were countless emails to the league from Nepean League clubs, highlighting areas of the blatant misinterpretation of the PPS rules.

Late Friday afternoon last week, the league sent the following statement to clubs.

Dear Clubs,

Further to the communication dated the 26th May 2015 (Somerville FNC Player Points) and official written responses from the two initial clubs in relation to the Leagues decision, the League has acted on MPNFL Player Points System Rule 11.

11. QUALIFYING COMMITTEE An independent review/appeal panel shall be established by the MPNFL. If any player or club is dissatisfied with the points assessed to a player, the club or player may apply for the review/appeal panel to undertake reconsideration of the points assessed.

We have established an independent review panel which consists of Brett Connell AFL Victoria’s Community Football & Engagement Manager, Jeremy Bourke AFL South East Regional General Manager and a third member that will be appointed by Brett & Jeremy under the following guideline.

  • The third panel member must be fully independent and have no past history or connection with any Peninsula or Nepean club.

The total number of points appearing on the Somerville FNC team sheet this week will be 38.

This statement raised more questions amongst Nepean League officials than it did answers.

Minus all the commentary, everyone wanted to know one thing – was David Hirst a 1, 2 or 3 point player.

That is the ONLY thing the clubs want to know. They want to know this because it has an impact on their own list and their own player point allocations.

Under the league’s new interpretation of the PPS, there are many players in the competition who should now be worth less points.

The league has misinterpreted the rule.

The league ignored its members in a time they were simply seeking clarification. It could have been resolved quickly.

When the league finally got back to the clubs, they provided a statement that clouded the situation further.

Why should we be having an independent tribunal to make decisions on rules that were written by and have been adjudicated by the league for years?

Don’t the clubs pay the league administration to administer and govern our league?

Where’s their management and leadership to resolve this issue.

Questions were raised over the PPS system, the most important rule in our game, and the governing body refused to answer them.

Last Thursday, AFL South East Regional General Manager Jeremy Bourke said he had received’ no communication from the league regarding this issue’.

Bourke went onto say “I believe there has been enough confirmation around the application of this rule to at least warrant some sort of correspondence or communication”.

“The league is there to service its clubs. I think it’s a ludicrous situation that I believe the clubs have every right to expect a service level that they pay for”.

“As a commission, we believe it is starting to get to a situation where if this is the outcome for member clubs, do we need to call constitutional reviews?

“The clubs need to be reminded, however, that whilst they are happy to complain, and we support them 100 per cent, they need to do something about it. The response from the clubs can’t be ‘it’s too hard’.

“Clubs need to start turning a bit of that negative speak into action and get on the front foot and do something about it.

MPNFL General Manager Jeff Jones believed the situation was handled and clubs had an opportunity to take any PPS matter to the independent tribunal.

First published in the Mornington News – 2 June 2015


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