OvensMurrayFNl22 squarev2League News | AFL North East Border (AFL NEB) confirms that Wangaratta Magpies Football Netball Club have been found guilty and penalised for breaching the 2022 Allowable Player Payment Cap, following an AFL NEB Disciplinary Committee hearing on Thursday night.

The Ovens & Murray Football Netball League club faced three charges under AFL Victoria’s Allowable Player Payment (APP) Rules, for failing to lodge player declarations or non-declared player statements correctly and exceeded the 2022 APP cap of $125,000.

For exceeding the cap, the club has been given the following sanctions:
• A fine of $28,000
• The men’s senior team will be ineligible to receive premiership match points for the first two home-and-away games of the 2023 season
• The men’s senior team have had their Total Team Points reduced for the entire 2023 season to 36, a reduction of four

Reprimands were given for the other charges.

The hearing was conducted by an independent panel appointed by the AFL NEB Commission following an integrity review of the club’s 2022 Allowable Player Payments. Based on the evidence of the review, the region charged the club in March and referred the matter to the disciplinary committee.
Anomalies in the club’s reporting had identified several issues in the management of player payments, including the over payments.

AFL NEB acknowledges that the Wangaratta Magpies FNC has also self-reported the overpayments which has resulted in the club exceeding the cap once the error had been identified and has cooperated with the Integrity Officer in the conduct of the review.

As a region, AFL NEB is committed to the integrity of the Allowable Player Payments Rules and has undertaken over 20 integrity reviews in recent years on clubs from across regional leagues. These reviews have supplemented the random internal compliance reviews of clubs conducted by AFL NEB to ensure lodgements of documents within timeframes are being adhered to.

AFL NEB, with support from AFL Victoria, will continue the practice of compliance and integrity reviews throughout 2023 and clubs can expect to be selected for the reviews. Region-based training seminars have been conducted to support clubs in the management of the Player Payments and Player Points rules to mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance and cap breaches.

The club has until the end of September to pay the fine, with funds to be put towards initiatives to support clubs including education around the salary cap and points system.