Clubs want sporting chance over fees

Solomontown’s Shard Malchow runs on to the ball better than Central’s Samuel Carter, when Sollies won their final minor round game to claim the minor premiership. Photo: Des ParkerA former president of Spencer Gulf Football League says the league could be in jeopardy, after council voted to imposea new fee structure on Port Pirie sporting grounds.
Nanjing Night Net

The new fee structure, to be adopted for 2013 and 2014, has been two years in themaking.

It was adopted by council on Wednesday night.

Spencer Gulf Football League (SGL) is to be one of the worst affected, forced to pay $60,000 over three years for its use of Memorial Oval.

Former long-servingpresident Ken Jeffrey said the league’s current structure was now ‘in jeopardy’.

The fee increase, to $13,000 next year, $20,000 in 2014 and $27,000in 2015, would place a huge burden on the league’s finances, he said.

“It is likely that the SGL minor round in Port Pirie in the future, will run at a loss,leaving matches at Port Augusta to prop up the league,” he said.

“Matches at Port Augusta will not incur the huge expense of Port Pirie’s.Unfortunately the league, as it is now structured, is now in jeopardy.”

Junior soccer is tobe billed $5,000 per yearfor the use of Senate Sports Park. Other sports including cricket and baseball and softball would also be affected.

Councillor Dino Gadaleta voted against the policy, believing it wouldhave ‘severe’ repercussions on the SGL and junior sport.

“I’m very sorry that we did not have enough voices on the floor to defeat the motion,”he said.

Cr Gadaleta said he could notsee the SGL in Port Augusta subsidising Port Pirie football.

“I don’t believe gate takings will be able to support the payment of those changes,” hesaid.

But Councillor Mike Basley, who supported the move, said the process was about bringinequity in the system.

Administrative services assistant manager Peter Arnold, who spearheaded thechange, defended the fee structure in a report to council.

“The main sports affected are football, cricket, baseball, softball and soccer,” he said.

“It is common knowledge that some footballers in the SGL are paid large sums ofmoney.

“The committee believes very strongly that clubs should be contributing to theplaying fields before paying for the players.”

The new policywas moved and seconded by councillors Neville Wilson, and DebbieDevlin and was supported by councillors Garry Nayda, Mike Basley, Gerry Chivell,Debbie Devlin, Neville Wilson and John Rohde.

Councillors Dino Gadaleta, Joe Paparella and Shirley Hortin were against it.

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