Football clubs in Western Australia who are not part of the much-talked about National Premier Leagues (NPL) competition in 2014 are currently being left in limbo.
With one club that was in the State Premier League being omitted from the NPL, Bunbury Forum Force, and their place being taken by second division Subiaco, the clubs in Division one are waiting to hear who will be in their competition and even how it will be branded. The delay on this it would appear has occurred for a number of reasons. The first being Football West’s delay in sending out the participation agreements to those selected for the NPL. They need to receive these back before ether can confirm that all twelve clubs selected will indeed compete in the new competition. In addition clubs who have submitted to be a part of the Saturday division two competition will have a great deal of work to do.
The General Manager, Competitions and Operations at Football West, Keith Wood sent an email to clubs waiting to be admitted into the Saturday competition dated 01 November which apologised for the lack of news and explained the reasons for the delay, “Our original intention is to have the recommendation ready for the October board meeting for endorsement. However, unfortunately, the October Board meeting was postponed a couple of times due to the unavailability of several Board members, and this meeting has still not taken place.”
His email continues,”We’re acutely aware that your club is desperate to know the outcome of its application and to that end, the CEO has requested that the Board endorse the recommendation by circular email. Obviously this takes a bit longer as questions that would normally be asked and answered in a board meeting and further discussed as a group, now have to be asked individually, copied in to all Board members and then discussed via email. This is clearly dependent on when people have the opportunity to read emails and it does delay the process. Nevertheless, we are committed to get the endorsement of the Board as quickly as possible, and as soon as the Board has endorsed the recommendation, all clubs – both successful and unsuccessful – will be notified at the earliest possible moment by formal email. These notifications has already been drafted to save time.”
That email was sent almost a fortnight ago, and the clubs still have not heard.
Unfortunately Board members do have work commitments that come up and that are unavoidable, but with meetings held on the same day in the same week of every month it is very rare to not be able to achieve a quorum in order to make such decisions. One would have also thought that the first meeting at the end of the season would be one of the most important to attend.
It does seem strange that clubs are still having to wait to hear their fate. It puts them in an awkward position in terms of attracting sponsorship, attracting players and planning for next season, as the month of December is a virtual right off in terms off being able to find people willing to make decisions. Which leaves just two months until the NPL is due to start at the beginning of March.
If there were concerns that the league was being rushed before, they may well be justified unless a great deal of progress is not made in the next few weeks.