Victorian Sports Minister Responds To AFL Collingwood Boss McGuire's Funding Complaint
Victorian Sports Minister Damian Drum has "hit back at suggestions" from Australian Football League side Collingwood President Eddie McGuire that "AFL is underfunded," according to the AAP. McGuire "called for increased investment for the sport." He said, "The Victorian government contributes to the AFL less than any other state I think at the moment." Drum said that he did not "know where McGuire was coming from." Drum: "The Victorian Government invests so much money in football. We have the best stadiums you could possibly hope for in the world. ... Our contribution to the major infrastructure builds in this state has been phenomenal" (AAP, 7/23).
VALUES QUESTIONED: In Melbourne, Caroline Wilson reported AFL side Gold Coast Chair John Witheriff has "questioned the AFL's values and accused it of a lack of courtesy in the decision to review the bidding system for development academy players and father-son selections." Witheriff, accusing the AFL of "going back on its word, has joined the growing chorus of northern club chiefs disenchanted" that the head office could redesign the "bidding rules for academy players just months before the national draft," following "heavy pressure" from McGuire. Witheriff revealed he "held talks this week with AFL chiefs, urging them to keep their promise on academies." Witheriff: "The commission needs to understand the implications of what it’s doing" (THE AGE, 7/23).