President casts doubt on a season without crowds

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
LSWFL president David East, director Sam Karamfiles and vice president Craig Garratt.
Camera IconLSWFL president David East, director Sam Karamfiles and vice president Craig Garratt. Credit: Supplied

The Lower South West Football League is starting preparations to kick-off this season, liaising with clubs and the WA Country Football League.

LSWFL president David East said that the season starting was contingent on the conditions attached to its start and that playing matches behind closed doors would be unfeasible for clubs.

“The biggest issue we are going to have is if they don’t allow crowds to come for a gathering of more than 500 or 600 people at minimum I would say, to be able to let the clubs operate, because we can’t operate without a crowd,” he said.

“The clubs get their revenue from the bar, canteen takings and gate takings, out of all that they’ve got to pay for the umpires and the day-to-day running of the game.

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“They’ve got to recoup that money to keep going and if you haven’t got a crowd, then it’s an absolute waste of time.”

East said if the WA Country Football League suggested that games be played behind closed doors, the league would advise teams not to start the season.

“From the league’s point of view, if it’s a closed door ... we would encourage the clubs not to go ahead,” he said.

“That’s what country footy is all about, it’s about the supporters being there for your team.”

Having talked to several of the league’s clubs, East said feedback he received suggested the clubs would not be on board with closed fixtures but the decision would be made when conditions are known to the league and its clubs.

“When the time comes where country football says that we might start on this particular date and these are the conditions, then we’ll have meetings with the clubs and a decision will be made,” he said.

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