From the Stawell Times
Reported by David Brehaut
Full article - Click here


UPDATE, 4.45pm: North Ballarat chairman John Nevett plans to address the media tomorrow morning.

When contacted by The Courier, Nevett said the announcement was still being analysed and he needed to meet with the club board.

He was unwilling to make any further comment at this stage.

EARLIER: Ballarat will be without a Victorian Football League team next year.

AFL Victoria on Thursday informed the North Ballarat Roosters it would not be renewing their VFL licence for 2018.

The termination comes after 22 seasons in the competition and two years of governance problems, including instability at board level.

North Ballarat has also struggled on the field over the past two seasons.

The Roosters won one game and finished last this year and three wins for second-last on the ladder in 2016 - a stark contrast to the golden era of three consecutive premierships in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

AFL Victoria rejected a submission by the Roosters' board of management for an extension of its licence.

AFL Victoria chief executive officer Steven Reaper told The Courier that the competition's governing body was not confident in the club's ability to meet the key requirements in its existing structure.

AFL Victoria chief executive officer Steven Reaper on Thursday.

AFL Victoria chief executive officer Steven Reaper on Thursday.

"After significant upheaval at board level in recent years at North Ballarat, AFL Victoria believes the current position the club finds itself from a governnance and on-field persepctive does not meet the key criteria needed for a continuation of the club's VFL licence

"It needs to get its act together.

"AFL Victoria needs to ensure there is a sustainable team in Ballarat - one that is representative of the region and is fully focused on state league presence," he said.

Reaper said a football review at the club indicated issues with the existing governance structure to support a VFL program, given it also had a focus at community level with North Ballarat City playing in the Ballarat Football League.

The Roosters' three-peat premeirships will remain the highlight of the club.

The Roosters' three-peat premeirships will remain the highlight of the club.

"When combined with the identified need to also restructure the on-field program, AFL Victoria believes all the proposed changes would take significant time to effectively implement.

"AFL Victoria believes the club would be better placed to focus on making the changes before again considering a VFL presence."

Reaper said there were also concerns surrounding the uncertainty of lease arrangements between the club and City of Ballarat at Mars Stadium.

He said any future entity needed to form long-term relationships with key stakeholders in the region, and ensure all parties were working to grow the game in Ballarat and surrounding areas.

"With all parties working together, a quick return could be seen for a Ballarat entity in the VFL," he said.