A new Partnering Model for the WAFL competition has been announced by the West Australian Football Commission and agreed to in principle by East Perth, Peel Thunder, West Coast and Fremantle Football Clubs.
The Partnering Model has East Perth and Peel Thunder becoming respective Partnering Clubs of West Coast and Fremantle to compete against seven Non-Partnering Clubs in the WAFL competition in 2014.
East Perth and Peel Thunder will be the respective homes of West Coast and Fremantle players and after consultation, have a preferred coach appointed by the AFL club and achieve a range of financial and other benefits.
WAFC Chairman Frank Cooper said the key to the Partnering Model is that it protects and respects the rich tradition and integrity of the WAFL competition and the District Development Model, assists the financial sustainability of the WAFL and better achieves the outcomes sought by WA’s AFL Clubs.
“The Partnering Model has been developed in the best interests of WA Football overall to achieve a stronger and more sustainable WAFL competition, while also meeting the needs of our AFL clubs,” Mr Cooper said.
“Importantly, the WAFL Clubs keep their identities, heritage and control over their future, the District pathway remains the same and major new funding is delivered to the WAFL that provides targeted money for ongoing development.”
“We’re confident that the Partnering Model will also result in a better on field WAFL competition. Continued monitoring will ensure that any issues detected or brought to the WAFC’s attention will result in an immediate review with appropriate changes to maintain an even competition. Changes may be in the form of adjustment to salary cap, the player points system and the number of out-of-zone recruits,” he said.
Each Non-Partnering WAFL Club will also receive an annual cash boost to assist with their ongoing development and sustainability. A new WAFL development fund for the benefit of the WAFL competition (e.g. shared services, capability building, facility proposals, research) will also be established to help improve the sustainability of the clubs and the competition.
“The AFL Clubs also achieve their most important goal of having their players managed, training and playing together under their preferred coach in the highly respected WAFL competition,” Mr Cooper said.
The Partnering Model will commence in 2014 for a minimum term of five years following a year of transition that will not affect players at the Non-Partnering Clubs.
All AFL listed players allocated to WAFL Clubs as of 2012 will remain at their current WAFL Clubs in 2013, except those at Peel and East Perth. These players will transfer to the respective Partnering Club of their AFL team.
All newly drafted interstate AFL recruits will be allocated to East Perth or Peel in 2013, while AFL players recruited from Non-Partnering WAFL Clubs will remain at the Non-Partnering WAFL Club throughout 2013.