Always Read the Fine Print.

June 21, 2013 at 9:07 am 5 comments

There is one week to go until clubs in Western Australia have to submit their contracts to be a part of the much-hyped yet lacking in financial or marketing information, National Premier Leagues (NPL).

Discussions have been held, answers have been sought, but few, if any of the clubs are 100% convinced that this is in fact the best thing for the game. Football West have been clever to continually push that they will discuss issues indvidually with clubs rather than as a collective. This way no one knows what any club has been promised or allowed; as the criteria to be in the league which was supposed to be set in stone, now has some ‘latitude.’

So what are these promises or compromises worth at the end of the day?

The answer is simple, absolutely nothing.

Within the fine print of the NPL contract that clubs are to submit there is a clause which reads as follows:

“In lodging this application the Club has not relied upon any representations made by 
Football West and has made its own interpretations and conclusions;”

Not The Footy Show has taken legal consultation on this clause, and the advice received was that even if a club has a promise in writing from any employee at Football West in relation to the NPL, the game’s governing body can go back on that promise thanks to this clause, claiming that this was how you interpreted the communication, but was not what was meant by them.

One key question that every club should ask is if this was a clear cut contract to enter the NPL and all of the rules, requirements were clear as well as the financial structures, and the marketing plan to increase both participation numbers and spectators, why would such a clause be needed? Such an inclusion is hardly the basis for trust.

Time will tell how many clubs have read the fine print, and how many decide to submit anyway. It will also tell how many will regret that decision.

With so many questions still left unanswered and clubs being asked to stake their future on a  ‘leap of faith’ the best solution for the future of the game has to be to postpone this for one year and make sure that every club is 100% happy with all facets of the new competition rather than pushing ahead and clubs only submitting for fear of missing out. Decisions based on fear are rarely the best ones.


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Show us the Money Legacy Argument Loses Legs

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. All White  |  June 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    If any club submits to the NPL with that clause still in the contract they are more dumb than I thought they were. The sad thing is the state league clubs are built on egos and in many cases the small-minded people that run them will not read the fine print.

    This league is all about the FFA controlling the next level of the game, and by signing up to this league you are handing control of your club to the FFA. By signing the contract you are letting Football West dictate your future. They are there to adminsiter the game on the clubs behalf, don’t forget that. They are not there to decide which clubs are in the league or not. You the clubs decide that with your performances on the pitch.

    Let the likes of Subiaco, East Fremantle, Quinns and Ellenbrook jump ahead of you and lose your place in this regional league. That will happen. Subiaco are being pushed to apply as Mr Hugg does not want to allow the Western Knights who he nearly sent broke into his new league as the only club in that geographical area. So he plays clubs off against each other.

    If the NPL goes through Mr Hugg will have delivered on a promise to the FFA, he will leave the game in a bigger mess than he has already created since he came to the West, and it will be left to others to try and tidy it up. He will have destroyed the history and tradition of the game, purely to further his own career. This guy is an administrator and not a football person and if clubs cave into his political spin then they get what they deserve but it will be a very sad day for Football

  • 2. Struth  |  June 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Agree with Ash and All White

    What a Disaster waiting to Happen

  • 3. Stephen  |  June 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Seriously the clubs are on their last legs and now they want to hand control over to Football West and Peter Hugg? Why don’t we issue the last rights now?

    That man has almost single-handedly destroyed Football in WA. Everything he has done has been to win favour with the FFA and earn a better position. How many people have spoken to him since he has been here and had him look them square in the eye? What does that say?

    If the clubs sign up for the NPL then they deserve to die. Only greed and the vague promise of a better future built on Mr Hugg’s vague promises await you. Let Subiaco, Ellenbrook and the likes of Floreat who appear to be flavour of the month sign up, then see how many people turn up to watch. Then how many clubs survive the first two years, and where Mr Hugg is then.

    This clause confirms ulterior motives and if the clubs can’t see that then they get all the deserve, but it will be a very sad day for football.

  • 4. Not The Footy Show  |  June 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Thank you all for your comments. Having read the documents concerning the NPL and having discussed with a lawyer, there are simply too many unanswered questions. If this was a business you would never enter such an agreement, especially as the application document is ‘a contract.’ So why when it comes to football do people lose common sense or the practises that made them successful in business? It does not just happen in WA but the world over.

    Why would clubs open their books to the FFA or Football West when neither body has committed any substantial funds to this tier of Football? Would either of these two bodies let you go through their financial dealings?

    There are a great deal of positive things in the proposed NPL but it simply has not been thought through and has obviously been put together by someone who never played club football and has no idea how clubs run and operate. If they had they would understand the pressures clubs are already under and would not add to this.

    Hopefully common sense will prevail. I for one would never sign any contract with a clause such as the one above in it. Many clubs will I guarantee it.

  • 5. Struth  |  June 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Why would clubs open their books to the FFA or Football West when neither body has committed any substantial funds to this tier of Football? Would either of these two bodies let you go through their financial dealings?

    F W have already had their financial dealings spotlighted and were not too happy about it – there could be more on that yet .


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