DISGRUNTED Coastal Premier League football clubs say they are disappointed they weren't given the opportunity to have input into the decision to expand the competition next year to 12 clubs.
As reported in the Times last Friday, seven of the 10 clubs released a lengthy statement opposing the move by the CPL to admit Forster-Tuncurry club Southern United, along with Bellingen, into the competition next year.
Port Macquarie clubs United and Saints along with Sawtell are the only clubs not to put their name to the statement although it's understood Sawtell has yet to discuss the matter at board level.
Taree Wildcats president Ben Sedlen said his club is disappointed the three year licence granted to all clubs last season when the CPL kicked off has not been honoured.
"We were given a three year licence to consolidate and build our club, but that's been thrown out the window,'' Mr Sedlen said.
Mr Sedlen said the clubs are united in their concerns about the extra travel and cost admitting two more teams will make to the season, along with the length of the competition.
"The CPL started in 2020 but we haven't completed a season yet because of COVID,'' Mr Sedlen pointed out.
"We think it's premature to start adding teams to the competition.''
He added that a Forster-Tuncurry club, Wallis Lake, was one of the 10 originally accepted into the CPL, but the club eventually opted not to play. This opened the way for Taree to take the licence, the Wildcats joining the CPL a month before the competition started in July 2020.
"Nothing against Forster, but they did have their chance,'' he said.
Mr Sedlen said the Wildcats believe that any decision to expand the CPL should have been delayed at least until the licences were up for renewal.
"Who knows, we may not be in the position to stay in the competition after three years,'' he said.
"But we should have been given those three years.''
The CPL is run by Football Mid North Coast and North Coast Football. Currently five clubs from both zones makes up the competition. FMNC chose Southern United's bid to become the sixth club last month. Camden Haven also applied. FMNC chairman Mike Parsons described Southern United as a 'marriage' between established clubs Great Lakes and Tuncurry-Forster.
Mr Sedlen admits he has no idea what the next move in the impasse will be, although he said the clubs are firm in their resolve. He hasn't heard anything from Football Mid North Coast about the matter and he doesn't know if either FMNC or North Coast Football will meet with the clubs to hear their grievances.
"It's all a bit s..t fight at the moment,'' he added.
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