THREE weeks after going into hiding over the bungled Play Points System (PPS), the Mornington Peninsula Football League has finally apologised.
In a statement sent by league CEO Jeff Jones on Saturday afternoon, the league “acknowledge that the ruling made in relation to David Hirst was incorrect and apologise for the mistake that has been made at the MPNFL Administration level with the Player Points System. We further extended our apologies to the player, the clubs and their committees”.
The statement also tried to clarify the ruling that was handed down by the Independent Tribunal.
The statement read:
Section 6 (a) Not Applicable Mr Hirst has not remained at his present MPNFL clubs for 2 years. If Mr Hirst plays for Somerville next year, there will be a deduction of 1 point.
Specifically, we reject Somerville’s contention that 2 years is satisfied by Mr Hirst playing for Somerville in the 2011 and 2014 seasons. If this interpretation were to be adopted the remained with his present MPNFL club would be redundant.
Section 6(b) Not Applicable as Mr Hirst was first registered for Karingal
Section 6 (c) Not Applicable
Section 6 (d) Not Applicable (assuming that Mr Hirst was not notified as Somerville Exemption Player for the 2015)
Section 6 (e) Not Applicable
Section 8 Not Applicable
You then can replace the players name and club when accessing this section against other players.
However, despite the apology and explanation, clubs maintain that the ruling was still blatantly wrong.
Rosebud Football Club secretary Anthony Matthews said while he welcomed the statement from the league he and other clubs (Dromana and Red Hill specifically) were still firmly of the view that the MPNFL and the Qualifying Committee have completely misinterpreted the MPNFL Player Points System 2010 (PPS).
“In particular we disagree with the determination that Section 6b of the PPS does not apply to the example player in question and as a result believe that the example player in question is a 3 point player,” Matthews wrote.
The logic for this is outlined below:
For ease of reference Section 6b of the PPS states:
A player shall revert to a base player points rating if he returns to the club at which he was first registered as an MPNFL player. The player will return to the appropriate higher premium points level should he transfer to another MPNFL club within a 3 year period.
Taking this into account, the following logic clearly demonstrates that Section 6b is relevant to the example player and therefore results in this player being designated as a 3 point player:
- In 2009 he was first registered with Karingal – at that time he was a 1 point player.
- In 2011 he was cleared to Somerville – pursuant to Section 5 he became a 3 point player (ie. 1 base point + 2 points for playing 6 senior games at another MPNFL club).
- In 2012 he was cleared to Karingal – pursuant to the first limb of Section 6b he reverted to “… base player points rating if he returns to the club at which he was first registered as an MPNFL player.” and therefore became a 1 point player (ie. he returned to the Karingal which was the MPNFL club at which he was registered).
- In 2014 he was cleared to Somerville – pursuant to the second limb of Section 6b he returned “… to the appropriate higher premium points level” because at this time he transferred to another MPNFL club within a 3 year period. Accordingly at this time he became a 3 point player.
- As of today he has not completed 2 seasons with Somerville and therefore a 1 point deduction under Section 6ai is not applicable (as agreed by the MPNFL & Qualifying Committee).
- As of today he remains a 3 point player.
“I have discussed this logic with Graham Stelling (Dromana) and Chris Rye (Red Hill) and we are all of the same opinion that the example player in question is a 3 point player,” Matthews said.
“In addition to failing to correctly apply Section 6b of the PPS – and therefore incorrectly determining the points which apply to the player in question – it follows from this that the determination by the MPNFL and Qualifying Committee:
- Is completely inconsistent with the approach that we understand Clubs and the MPNFL have applied to date in relation to Section 6 of the Guidelines – from the time of its inception until the recent airing of the issues surrounding the player in question.
- Seriously compromises the integrity of the MPNFL competition. This arises for because Clubs could, by mutual agreement, clear any player that is currently a 2 or 3 point player (by virtue of having attracted premium points from having previously played at another MPNFL Club) to another MPNFL Club, have that clearance approved and then prior to the next game have that player cleared back to their Club. In these circumstances, and applying the incorrect logic of the MPNFL and Qualifying Committee, the player/s in question would revert to a base 1 point. I see nothing in the AFL or MPNFL Rules or By-Laws that was prevent Clubs from taking this course of action.
We seek a prompt explanation from the MPNFL – and by not later than midday on Tuesday 16th June – as to whether the combined effect of the first and second limbs of Section 6b of the PPS was specifically taken into account by the MPNFL, Qualifying Committee and MPNFL solicitor in making the determination in relation to the example player in question, and:
- If not we request that the Qualifying Committee be re-constituted by no later than Wednesday 17th June to re-consider the allocation of points to the player in question and for the MPNFL to communicate in writing the outcome of that re-consideration – together with a detailed explanation as to the reasons for the determination – to all Nepean & Peninsula League clubs by no later than 4 pm on Thursday 18th June.
- If so why, we request that the MPNFL communicate in writing to all Nepean & Peninsula League Clubs by no later than midday on Thursday 18th June the reasons why the MPNFL, Qualifying Committee and MPNFL solicitor determined that the second limb of Section 6b of the PPS did not apply to the player in question.
For absolute clarity I repeat that the pursuit of this issue is entirely driven by a desire to protect the integrity of the MPNFL competition and is in no way intended as an attack on the Somerville Football Netball Club who, there can be no question, have been seriously and inexcusably let down by the MPNFL administration.
There is little question that despite the league communication, this issue will continue for some time to come.