HEPBURN and Buninyong presidents say they would support shifting the Central Highlands Football League’s feature day away from its traditional home at Eureka Stadium if restrictions over changeroom celebrations remain in place.
North Ballarat Sports Club has banned the consumption of any alcohol or the squirting of liquids during team songs inside the newly-redeveloped Centre of Excellence – a ban which applies to all clubs and teams using the facility.
Hepburn and Buninyong will fight out today’s senior grand final and both club presidents admit it will be a different feeling after the match.
Burras president Jason Olver was furious at the decision, describing it as one of the worst things he has seen in all his time in football.
“The league is governed by the clubs and the consensus Wednesday night (when told of the ban) is that we won’t be going back there again,” Olver said.
Bombers president Wayne Morgan said the ban was “overkill”.
“I think putting a blanket ban on it is a bit over the top. I think the better way would be if there is mess made in the rooms, then the club responsible has to pay for the clean-up,” Morgan said.
North Ballarat Sports Club chief executive officer Mark Patterson has defended the venue’s strict regulations.
Patterson made no apologies for the club’s decision to maintain the quality of its $1million-plus redevelopment.
“What’s good enough for AFL clubs who play here should be good enough for any club who plays here.
“If the league and clubs are happy to take advantage of the facility, it does come with some regulations,” Patterson said.
“We think it’s only fair and reasonable. We are disappointed that clubs are publicly expressing their disappointment given the enormous amount of work that has gone to make the facility fully available to them.”
Central Highlands president Eddy Comelli said the league would consider other venue options down the track if requested by member clubs.
“We have had a long association with North Ballarat and it’s not a big issue, but it is an issue.
“If we had have had a bit more notice we might have made some alternate arrangements,” Comelli said. “We would have liked to be given more time so we can consider our options, in regards to providing our member clubs some sort of a facility to celebrate in.”