EDITORIAL: League stays silent

THE silence from the Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association following the SANFL Community Football’s (CFL) decision to charge Willaston Football Club for breaching the salary cap is deafening.

The decision, handed down last Wednesday, was a landmark decision, and one that will change the course of country football forever.

The charge is the first of its kind since the salary cap’s inception in 2016 – all other clubs that have previously breached the regulations have self-reported their errors – and one that puts the Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association on the map for the wrong reasons.

Despite this, the governing body of our local football competition refused to comment on the matter.

By refusing to release even a statement, the BL&GFA leaves so many questions unanswered.

What is the association’s position on the matter?

Will it be supporting Willaston, should it opt to appeal the charges?

Does it believe any other BL&G clubs  will come under scrutiny from the CFL?

Has it considered how it may look if Willaston is sanctioned, and then goes on to win the flag?

There are so many points that need clarifying, given the enormity of this situation and how it could affect the 2018 premiership race.

If Willaston Football Club president Kieran Sankey and interim coach Shaun Baker can find time to speak publicly about their club’s position, why can’t the association?

The Bunyip contacted BL&GFA president Mick Brien in July regarding a possible investigation, by the CFL, into Willaston Football Club and Mr Brien said the matter was not mentioned at the BL&G’s most recent meeting at that time.

CFL manager Matt Duldig has said the investigation into Willaston has been happening for months, prompting the question: was the BL&GFA left in the dark in the lead up to the decision?

We’ve heard Willaston’s story, we’ve heard the CFL’s story, we’ve heard from the other clubs, and, now, we need to hear from the association – and we should’ve already.

After all, it is the biggest scandal the league has ever faced.

Click here for all The Bunyip’s rolling coverage on the Willaston salary cap saga.

Jack Hudson


Growing up in Gawler, Jack has taken on a variety of journalistic roles while still studying for his Bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing degree. He began his career at The Bunyip as a weekend football writer, before taking on roles with The Footy Budget and The Cricket Chronicle and then earning his first part-time gig at the Barossa Herald. Now returning to The Bunyip, Jack also has a keen interest in footy and soccer, as well as a passion for gaming and reading.

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