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Structural Review of WA FootballThursday, May 11, 2017 - 9:05 AM

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The West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) has released its structural review into WA football.

The Structural Review of Football Report, available for download and feedback below, was undertaken to develop a clear plan for football to remain the number one sport in WA. 

The review assessed the current structures in place within WA football and identified a number of best practice reforms that will ensure football in this state remains engaging, sustainable, and relevant in the long-term.

WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said there had never been a major structural review since the WAFC’s inception 28 years ago as the custodians of WA football, from grassroots to the elite level.

“A lot has changed in WA football since the WAFC was formed in 1989, including expansion of the AFL, the rise of women’s football, and more sport choices for kids.  The time was right to take a step back and conduct a once-in-a-generation review to identify what’s being done right and where reforms need to be made,” Mr Taylor said.

“A key finding of this review is that WA footy is fundamentally in good shape however there are clear challenges facing our game.  

“The reforms put forward in this report are intended to address these challenges and deliver a clearly aligned approach across every level of WA football, better funding and governance models, more WAFC staff on the front line in community footy, and ensure everything we do aligns with the delivery of our clear strategic targets.

“We will now discuss the report in detail with the WA football community and are seeking their feedback on the reforms during a six week consultation phase as well as their input about implementation strategies.”

Summary of the key reforms:

The WAFC to manage the talent pathway and WAFL Colts competition, with a ‘player first’ focus to deliver improved outcomes whilst maintaining alignment to WAFL Clubs

Community Football
Establish Football Development Regions, supported by a new community governance model where more front line WAFC staff will work together, in partnership with our affiliates and schools, to support the focus on introducing, engaging and retaining participants with increased resources in the areas of coaching, umpiring, youth and club development.

To structure the WAFL to be a competitive broadcast-quality competition, that supports the AFL club alignment and sees the Clubs as the peak of the State's participation pathway and relevant to their local communities.

To support the needs of regional football through improved governance structures, increased focus on providing appropriate resources, developing talent and supporting volunteers.

To review governance structure to be more reflective of community, re-align staff structures and targets to match new strategic priorities to fulfil our role as the leader of WA football.

To ensure that football continues to cater for and reflect our communities with specific focus on females, multicultural and indigenous engagement strategies.

The Structural Review of Football Report was completed based on:

  • A comprehensive review into WA football completed by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a leading international consultancy firm that has conducted similar work for major sporting organisations in Australia and overseas.  The BCG team included Colin Carter AM, who in 1985 completed a report proposing a national competition for the VFL and the draft and salary cap strategies designed to keep all clubs competitive.  BCG interviewed more than 70 WA football stakeholders, surveyed an additional 1000 people, analysed data from the WAFC, WAFL clubs, the AFL, and community clubs, and drew on best practice models used in other states, countries, and across different sports.
  • Further research by the WAFC, including a stakeholder satisfaction survey which had more than 2000 respondents and a review of youth football.

BCG’s Colin Carter commended the WAFC on undertaking this important review for the future of WA football.

“Having worked with many sporting organisations on reform initiatives I know it is a challenging and sometimes daunting experience for those involved.”

“The WAFC should be congratulated for having the foresight to undertake this proactive approach to improving football in Western Australia. I am certain the long-term benefits will be very worthwhile.”