Notice of no confidence brings MPNFL crisis to a head


MORNINGTON Peninsula Nepean Football League is about to face its biggest change in the history of the competition.

Last Friday night (June 26), Peninsula League clubs supported the Nepean League clubs and issued the MPNFL Board with a ‘Notice of No Confidence’.

There were eight of the 10 Peninsula League clubs who supported the vote of no confidence with both Mt Eliza and Frankston YCW not supporting the motion.

Between the competitions, 19 of the 22 clubs (Somerville abstained from the vote) have demanded change. They only needed support of 75 per cent of clubs.

A Special General Meeting will be called in the coming days to formalise the matter, which will likely see the MPNFL Board resign their posts and AFL South East take control in a caretaker capacity.

The MPNFL administration, including the CEO Jeff Jones and long standing operations manager Ian Benson, will remain in place until at least the end of the season.

With salaries and honorariums exceeding $300,000 each year, it is highly unlikely that the administration structure will remain the same in 2016 and beyond.

The typical structure of a regional administration includes an operations manager and netball coordinator. That’s it.

In an email to the league, Karingal president Daniel Watts wrote on behalf of all Peninsula League clubs:

“The Peninsula FNL presidents met earlier this week to discuss what was going to be regarding the sustainability of our clubs and issues that surrounded that but instead we spoke purely of this motion only.

“After much deliberation eight Peninsula FNL clubs have decided to join the motion put forward by the Nepean FNL clubs – A Notice of No Confidence in MPNFL board and administration.

“We have alerted Jeremy Bourke (AFL South East) to this decision and now ask that a Special General Meeting for the MPNFL be convened so this motion can be enacted.

“Thank you again to all the Peninsula FNL clubs who have scrambled over the past week in the middle of an already busy time for clubs to discuss and finalise this matter which was very difficult but professionally dealt with.”

The MPNFL board and administration have no-one but themselves to blame for their downfall.

It is understood AFL South East encouraged the MPNFL board to sit down with them more than 18 months ago and discuss the opportunities of them making up a regional board. It was an offer the board rejected.

The MPNFL administration, once preventing AFL South East to have any communication or influence on their member clubs and deliberately withholding important information to them, are now keen to work with AFL South East, scrambling for self-preservation.

What the administration are perhaps failing to recognise is that 19 of the 22 club are just as keen to see change at the administration level as they are with the board.

Scare tactics have been used in recent days with various rumours being circulated about where clubs will play next season, promotion-relegation, etc.

Jeremy Bourke, while reluctant to engage in conversation about the process, said “absolutely no discussion or talk has been had about any structural changes or individual clubs from an AFL South East perspective”.

“Any of those discussions will be held with all clubs with them having a major say in what happens in the future,” said Bourke.

“We’ll be working alongside them, not dictating to them and pushing our own agendas.”

That’s a refreshing outlook and future to look forward to!

First published in the Mornington News – 30 June 2015


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