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SBD Global/October 18, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Disparity Between Rich, Poor Clubs In AFL A 'Ticking Time Bomb'

Australian Football League Sydney Swans Chair Richard Colless has "questioned the AFL's commitment to 10 clubs in Victoria in calling for a wide-ranging review of the competition and its structure," according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Describing the disparity between rich and poor clubs as ''a ticking time bomb in the AFL universe,'' Colless has called on the game to ''stop pussyfooting about the problem and put it on the table.'' The AFL Commission and executive has "responded to Colless' strongly worded proposal and has confirmed it will hold a two-day summit" before the start of the '13 season, bringing together the 18 presidents and CEOs. Colless has "already put some of the wealthier clubs offside by proposing taking profits from blockbuster games and distributing them among the poorer clubs." He has also "raised capping football department spending." In a letter distributed to all club presidents and the AFL, Colless wrote: ''It is not being alarmist to state that in our view more than several clubs could be considered technically insolvent without the financial guarantee of the AFL'' (THE AGE, 10/17). In Sydney, Matt Murnane reported that AFL's Western Bulldogs President-in-waiting Peter Gordon has "wasted no time throwing his weight behind the idea of a summit to address the disparity between rich and poor clubs." Gordon said there was ''profound concern'' within the industry that the gap between big and smalls clubs could widen at an alarming rate, and ''intelligent discussion'' among presidents, CEOs and the AFL "was needed urgently" (SMH, 10/18).
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