Coun­cil may save Fal­cons

Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOHN MASANAUSKAS

A LO­CAL coun­cil may take the un­usual step of keep­ing an women’s foot­ball team afloat.

City of Dare­bin coun­cil­lors will next week vote whether to give up to $300,000 of ratepayer funds to the fi­nan­cially strug­gling Dare­bin Fal­cons, a trail­blaz­ing club that was home to AFLW star Daisy Pearce.

“The re­cent large-scale changes in women’s AFL, in­clud­ing costly re­quire­ments and stan­dards for play­ing at elite lev­els, mean the club must in­crease its in­come sig­nif­i­cantly,” a Dare­bin re­port said.

“As a re­sult, the club is at sig­nif­i­cant risk of hav­ing to with­draw from the elite VFL com­pe­ti­tion.”

The re­port said that while it was un­usual for a coun­cil to fund the op­er­a­tions of a sport­ing club, the sit­u­a­tion it­self was un­usual, and the Fal­cons had de­cided not to ac­cept funds from gam­bling sources.

If ap­proved at Mon­day’s meet­ing, Dare­bin will pay the club $160,000 for two years, with the op­tion of ex­tend­ing the deal by two years for an ex­tra $140,000.

Hawthorn Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent and for­mer premier Jeff Ken­nett said: “If Dare­bin thought that (sup­port­ing Fal­cons) was im­por­tant to the de­vel­op­ment of op­por­tu­ni­ties for its com­mu­nity, then I would re­spect the de­ci­sion.”

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