Shepparton News

CHANGE OF MIND

GOULBURN VALLEY LEAGUE BOARD DOES A COMPLETE TURNAROUND ON DECISION TO AWARD PREMIERSHI­PS

- By AYDIN PAYNE

The Goulburn Valley League has backflippe­d on its decision to hand out football and netball premiershi­ps for the cancelled 2021 season.

Less than a week after awarding Echuca, Shepparton United and Shepparton premiershi­ps, the league revealed on Tuesday those three clubs would now be recognised as minor premiers for this year.

A decision to award premiershi­ps in all grades was made after the league pulled the plug on its season and felt the need to recognise the work of clubs who finished on top of the ladder.

The league said the decision was reversed due to discussion­s with clubs and feedback from supporters who expressed concern with the decision.

The Murray and Picola District leagues did not award premiershi­ps after they opted to cancel their respective seasons last week.

The outcome comes after senior football and netball minor premiers Echuca and Shepparton United voiced their mixed emotions of being awarded the title of premiers.

League chairman David Roff said the three clubs indicated their preference to not be awarded the premiershi­p, but rather be recognised as minor premiers.

“Following the decision to terminate the season, the board felt the need to recognise clubs who had finished on top of the ladder being either Echuca, Shepparton or Shepparton United, as premiers,” Roff said.

“However, subsequent discussion­s with clubs affected, and other clubs, as well as feedback from interested supporters indicated a level of concern with the decision.

“In particular, the three clubs affected indicated they would prefer recognitio­n as minorpremi­ers.

“In some cases, concerns were strongly expressed to members of the clubs concerned, when they had not been a party to the decision, which was neither fair nor appropriat­e.”

Roff said the past two COVID19 impacted seasons had been new territory for the league.

He said a review of the competitio­n bylaws would be undertaken during the off-season.

“This season and 2020 has required the league and clubs to respond to situations­not previously encountere­d,” Roff said.

“The off-season will give the league and clubs an opportunit­y to review competitio­n bylaws to make clear what should happen should a similar situation occur again.”

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