Talks of Sunbury breakaway move purely hypothetical: Lithgow

SUNBURY Football Club president Phil Lithgow has moved to quash speculation his club is trying to abandon the Ballarat Football League and form its own breakaway competition.

Metropolitan media reports during the week suggested Sunbury, in alignment with the other four clubs in the eastern bloc of the BFL, was planning on forming a new competition within three years, separate from Ballarat.

It also suggested the clubs would combine with clubs from the Riddell District Football League, as well as Gisborne from the Bendigo league. However, Lithgow said there were no plans to leave the BFL or start a new league.

He said there were merely early discussions at this point.

The five presidents of Sunbury, Bacchus Marsh, Darley, Melton and Melton South football clubs met earlier in the week to discuss their future in the league, which Lithgow described as fruitful talks. “It’s not a move designed to undermine the BFL in any way,” Lithgow said.

“All the talks at this stage are purely hypothetical and that’s it. It’s way too premature to be talking about what is involved at this stage.”

Sunbury is yet to meet with the Bendigo or Riddell District football leagues, but intends to in the near future.

Lithgow said if there was to be any changes in the future, it would not be until at least 2017.

“People often get way down the track before coming public with these sorts of things,” he said.

“We wanted it to be discussed openly so it didn’t look as though we were doing things under the table.

“It’s been a completely open process the whole time.”

Sunbury first mooted the idea of possibly changing leagues two weeks ago, after its members filled out a survey that indicated they wished for the club to change leagues.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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