GVL, KDL assess coronavirus financial impact

By Alex Mitchell

Goulburn Valley League will not charge its clubs any fees until the football and netball season begins as the region's sporting organisations continue preparing for a financial hit due to the coronavirus crisis.

Stemming from a meeting of the league's board and club presidents — via Zoom — clubs have been advised they will not be charged any league fees until the season starts, with a pro-rata arrangement to kick in once it does.

Chairman David Roff said the league was still aiming for a June kick-off, but it would continue to follow the guidelines set by authorities.

“We appreciate that this is a challenging period for community clubs as they try to understand the impact of COVID-19 and the postponement of community football until May 31,” Roff said.

“The GVL board is working with all of its member clubs to identify these issues and put into place strategies and guidance for each club to steer them through this crisis, all whilst ensuring that we are following all recommended federal and state government health organisations’ and the AFL’s guidelines.”

League operations manger Josephine Spencer echoed that sentiment and said she would remain in constant dialogue with the 12 clubs through the rapidly evolving situation.

● Kyabram District League operations manager Nate Dedman acknowledged his clubs would take a financial hit, but called on them to help the league gather information as it prepared to help them in every way possible.

“We're working really closely with (AFL Goulburn Murray region general manager) Jamie Macri and the AFL ... we sent out some financial helping tools to our clubs, just to try and get some information on where they sit and how they're budgeting things, where they were before this and where they are now,” he said.

“We just want our clubs to know we're here to support them. We're working really hard to get our heads around this, but data is king, information is king. We're in that phase still of getting information, so we can get the answers to the questions the clubs have.

“We don't have the answers to the questions we need either, we're in the same boat, so we have to wait and see. Footy will be back because it is strong — it hasn't stopped since World War II, which shows it takes something major to stop it.”

Dedman said a 13-round season had been sketched out on the proviso football and netball could return on June 6 — but acknowledged playing by then remained a long shot.