SEVEN of the 10 Coastal Premier League football clubs reject plans to expand the competition to 12 clubs in 2022.
The seven dissenters are Taree Wildcats, Boambee, Coffs City United, Northern Storm, Coffs Coast Tigers Macleay Valley Rangers and Kempsey Saints.
It's understood Sawtell has asked for further time before signing off on a lengthy statement released by the seven clubs on Thursday, September 23, however, it's not known if the two Port Macquarie clubs, United and Saints, support the move. The badges of the seven clubs appear on the statement.
The Coastal Premier League this year announced plans to add two clubs to the competition next season.
Earlier this month a newly formed franchise from the Forster-Tuncurry area, Southern United, was the successful applicant from the Football Mid North Coast Zone, beating a bid from Camden Haven. Bellingen is expected to be to the North Coast Football club admitted.
Last week Taree Wildcats issued a statement on the club's Facebook page and in the Manning River Times opposing the move. In a back page article in the Manning River Times on Wednesday July 7, club president Ben Sedlen aired his concerns. Mr Sedlen had been asked by the Times for comment.
This week Coffs Harbour-based Northern Storm released a statement on their club's Facebook page that also spoke against the expansion.
The joint statement lists 17 areas of concern regarding expansion for next season along with the way the bidding process has been handled.
The clubs then list a further 11 requirements that any club must meet before submitting a proposal to join the CPL. (Ready the full statement below) All seven claim they didn't agree to the expansion of the league in December 2020 (or at any other time) and in particular before the start of the 2023 season. The clubs reject the expansion of the CPL in 2022.
The clubs also reject the CPL's unilateral amendment of their CPL licences.
Other claims include:
| A failure to receive any proposals, feedback or proposed changes to the CPL, including those that affected their clubs before the CPL announced the expansion on July 2, 2021.
| Did not receive the opportunity opportunity to object or provide any feedback to any application or proposal under consideration for entry to the CPL, with applications not closing and being accessed until after August 30, 2021.
| Concern about the impact new clubs will create in the recruitment and development of players for teams in close proximity, in particular Taree, Sawtell and Boambee who will be the most affected and which may affect the future participation of clubs.
| Have not received a proposed draw or schedule for the 2022 season.
The clubs also claim there aren't sufficient referees and administrative resources to service a standard required by the CPL.
There is also opposition to applications from what the clubs describe as 'combined club', 'representative team', 'joint venture', 'CPL only' or 'special entry' into the competition.
The statement claims that Camden Haven received no notice from the CPL or Football Mid North Coast regarding the expansion plan until informed by the media.
"By the time they received the relevant applications, Camden Haven had a little over five weeks to negotiate with their sponsors, players and coaches in order to submit a proposal,'' the statement reads, with a further claim that this is at least nine months less than the ultimately successful Southern United bid.
Football Mid North Coast chairman Mike Parsons said he has no comment on the matter, because he hasn't had any direct communication with any of the clubs involved.
"All I've seen is a few comments on social media,'' he said.
"Neither Football Mid North Coast or North Coast Football has been officially approached by any of the club presidents.''
Boambee Bombers FC, Kempsey Saints FC, Coffs United FC, Northern Storm FC, Coffs Coast Tigers FC, Macleay Valley Rangers FC, Taree Wildcats FC
The clubs make the following statement:
|All clubs reject they agreed to the expansion of the Coastal Premier League (CPL)in December 2020 (or at any other time), and in particular prior to the commencement of the 2023 season.
|Reject the expansion of the CPL in 2022
|Reject the Coastal Premier Leagues unilateral amendment of their CPL licenses
|State that they failed to receive any proposals, feedback or proposed changes to the CPL competition including those that affected their clubs prior to the CPL announcing its expansion on 2 July 2021
|Did not receive the opportunity to object or provide any feedback to any application or proposal under consideration for entry to the CPL, with such applications not closing and being assessed until after 30 August 2021.
|Have not received a proposed draw or schedule for the 2022 CPL season and no draw or schedule and how it will impact clubs has been discussed
|Reject the comments of chairman Mike Parsons on September 16, 2021 that the CPL season will not be required to be extended by any more than 1 week and that "bye" weekends will not be required in 2022.
| Require that any expansion plans should notify all clubs in both zones by their official delivery methods and at the same time which is not before or with an advantage over other clubs and which set out all of the conditions and perimeters allowing time to enquire, research and obtain all information allowing every participant sufficient and equal opportunity to submit their proposal.
| Require any proposal to expand the competition to be on a level playing field and which criteria and details are transparent for all applicants and clubs including any existing club of the CPL
| Believe that the advantage given to Foster/Tuncurry and possibly other clubs to research, organise, negotiate, form joint ventures and pool resources for its inclusion by up to twelve (12) months and up to ten (10) months in advance of any other club which was not notified on or after July 2, 2021 to prepare and submit their proposals was not transparent, unfair and unsporting
| Claim that the addition of two additional teams and four weeks of football is premature given that the CPL season has been unfinished for two seasons running with no time to complete two full rounds or any finals series. Annual seasonal rains and FFA Cup ties require a substantial amount of games to be rescheduled each year and the CPL has not taken into account or undertaken any planning on further effects of Covid-19 or any future variants
| Require a guarantee from the CPL that the current season will not be extended and a further guarantee that the CPL will be able to conclude in its normal September time period
| Are concerned about the impact that new clubs will create in the recruitment and development of players for teams in close proximity, in particular Taree, Sawtell and Boambee who will be most affected and which may affect the future participation of clubs
| Do not believe there is sufficient growth in the local zones, in particular Coffs Harbour to support expansion at this time
| Do not believe there are sufficient referees and administrative resources to sufficiently service the competition to a standard which is required of the CPL
| Require compensation for the additional costs of each club which are already under pressure from losses incurred from covid including loss or canteen and sponsorship which will be required to support the payment of coaches and staff, ground hire, maintenance, busses, drives, petrol and other incidental costs for the extended season which they would not have otherwise incurred
| Reject the application of any club or entity which is a "Combined Club" "Representative team" "Joint Venture" "CPL Only" or "Special Entity" which has been formed to pull together resources to enter the CPL, are not club based and are not independent of each other
Require that any club submitting any proposal to join the CPL must:
| Be an independent zone-based club
| Have both Junior and Senior teams to ensure the provision of players on an annual basis and throughout each season to ensure its longevity and continued success
| Has shown its ability to be financial through club registrations, canteen, sponsorship and club activities and not from anonomyus donations which do not provide long term financial sustainability for the club or transparency
| Not rely on other clubs to replace injured, suspended or unavailable players throughout the season from affiliate clubs, zone clubs or players who are registered or who played in any other competition or with any other team in any zone or district and must only use players who are exclusively registered by their own club
| Earn promotion through the second tier of competition in each zone which other clubs who desire to join the CPL may enter and demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements, commitment and standards of the CPL
| Meet the criteria set by the CPL for all teams and not lower the criteria and standards to allow certain clubs admission for expansion purposes, including grounds and amenities
| Require any persons who have a conflict of interest to declare such a conflict and abstain from the voting and application process in respect of expansion and admission of any new club
| Require the CPL to provide the details of all clubs who have applied to join the CPL, including when such teams became aware of the expansion, when such applications were submitted, the details of each proposal and the proposed changes to the CPL in terms of the schedule, season and requirements of all clubs
| Feel that although expansion is not supported for 2022, Camden Haven FC have been the standout team in the second tier of the southern zone and have demonstrated not only a strong club with history, junior base and on field performance but a commitment and ability to meet the requirements of the CPL which would substantially reduce the impact on all other clubs
| Camden Haven had no notice from the CPL or FMNC, discovering the plans of expansion via the media. By the time they received the relevant applications Camden Haven had a little over 5 weeks to negotiate with their own club, sponsors, players and coaches in order to submit a proposal for consideration which was at least 9 months less than the Foster/Tuncurry bid had to prepare which is grossly unreasonable, unfair and not within arms-length.
| Require all clubs to cast their formal club vote on any proposed expansion or acceptance of any bid before it is accepted
| Are of the view that Taree who entered the competition at the last minute when the Foster/Tuncurry/Lakes region pulled out of the inaugural CPL and who have invested a substantial amount of money, effort and commitment to the CPL has not had their support and commitment reciprocated by the CPL in allowing them to establish themselves in the CPL
| Require clarity and transparency surrounding the proposed expansion, including the provision of information required by each club so that they can consult their clubs, coaches, players, staff and sponsors to consider their position and ability to continue participate in the CPL