AFL Victoria has today informed North Ballarat FC it will not have its Peter Jackson VFL licence continued for season 2018.
The Roosters’ board was recently requested to make a submission to AFL Victoria to address questions on several licence criteria.
AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said the competition’s governing body were not confident in the Club’s ability to meet key requirements in its current structure.
“After significant upheaval at board level in recent years at North Ballarat, AFL Victoria believes the current position the Club finds itself from both a governance and on-field perspective doesn’t meet the key criteria needed for a continuation of the Club’s VFL licence,” Reaper said.
“AFL Victoria needs to ensure there is a sustainable team in Ballarat, and one that is representative of the region and is fully focussed on a state-league presence.
“A recent football review at the Club indicated issues with the current governance structure in place to support the VFL program given it also had a focus at community level with North City playing in the local Ballarat competition.
“When combined with the identified need to also restructure the on-field program, AFL Victoria believes that all of the proposed changes would take significant time to effectively implement and feels that the Club would be better placed to focus on making these changes before again considering a VFL presence.”
Reaper said there have been many learnings to come out of the licence removal then reinstatement at the Frankston FC over the last 12 months, which have and will be used moving forward with North Ballarat.
“Whilst the North Ballarat board recognise the need for change, what the Frankston example has demonstrated is that time out of the competition allows clean air to strategically review all aspects of the VFL operation and ensure the best model going forward, ” Reaper said.
“Any future entity needs to form long-term relationships with key stakeholders in the region, and ensure all parties are working together to grow the game in Ballarat and surrounding areas.
“We have been able to learn from the situation with Frankston over the last year, that time out of the competition does not mean a team is lost forever.
“With all parties working together, a quick return could be seen for a Ballarat entity in the VFL.”
AFL Victoria will continue to work with key stakeholders such as the Club, AFL Goldfields, the GWV Rebels, City of Ballarat and the State Government to ensure the MARS Stadium facility still sees a state-league presence in 2018, with the ground providing a great alternative venue for TAC Cup finals this year, as well as hosting a recent triple header ‘Drive to the Game’ Round in the U18 competition.