‘Gutted’ Roosters chairman says there is no guarantee it will return to VFL competition

A frustrated Roosters chairman John Nevett says there is no guarantee Ballarat will have a VFL presence in 2019.

The North Ballarat Roosters’ VFL licence was terminated on Thursday by AFL Victoria leaving Nevett “angry” and “gutted”.

The chairman, who joined the club in February, painted a lone figure at the front of Friday’s press conference as he voiced his dissatisfaction towards AFL Victoria’s decision.

Nevett said he would attend a board meeting on Friday night to discuss the club’s movements going forward and whether it would endeavour to deliver a VFL side in 2019. 

But Nevett could not guarantee that it would be a positive outcome given the significant setback the revoked licence has dealt the Roosters.

Chairman John Nevett

Chairman John Nevett

“I can’t give anybody a guarantee that this club will endeavour to bring back a VFL club,” Nevett said.

“I always thought we would be here (in the VFL), so you can imagine the shock yesterday. The disappointment, that feeling of emptiness, that went last night, and now there’s a certain amount of anger.”

Nevett had been in contact with AFL Victoria since the disappointing decision and had fought for the Roosters short-term survival in the VFL competition.

Nevett said he had asked for AFL Victoria to consider reinstating North Ballarat into the VFL competition for 2018 with the condition it would conduct a restructure of its board and football department to meet AFL Victoria’s requirements. Part of the governance issue was AFL Victoria having a “fractured” relationship with “some members of the board”. 

Nevett said a restructure, which would seperate the Roosters, North Ballarat City and North Ballarat Sports Club, would ensure the Roosters would be its own VFL entity and remove any perception there would be crossover of boards.

Nevett felt this process would take two months, and if the Roosters could not meet this time frame, it would step aside. But the request was not accepted, leaving Nevett and the club shattered.

Nevett said if it were to reapply for a VFL team, that presentation would be exactly the same as the one presented this month. He said he felt for the coaching staff and players, he also conceded the playing group took a while to embrace him as chairman, but by season’s end felt he had their respect.

Nevett slammed any insinuation the North Ballarat decision could be compared to Frankston, Nevett saying the comparison was “inappropriate because they were two different scenarios.”

There’s a certain amount of anger.

North Ballarat Roosters chairman John Nevett