Carngham-Linton Football Netball Club president Greg Spratling has lifted the lid on a decision to withdraw all senior football and netball teams from the 2020 Central Highlands Football Netball League season.
Spratling said the club pulled the pin after being informed by the league that clubs would not get to vote on whether or not the season would go ahead. Instead, Spratling said he was told the CHFL board would make the final call themselves.
Spratling said the club was hit with a spreadsheet from the league requesting team nominations, with no vote having taken place.
"We thought we would wait until the final Central Highlands Football League presidents meeting on the 29th to completely make our end decision," he said.
"We then were notified that the presidents meeting was not going to go ahead which we thought was a little bit strange."
Spratling said he then asked the league via email when a formal vote would take place. He was told the league's board would make the call due to uncertainty from clubs.
"When we walked away from the presidents meeting last Thursday, we were supposed to get together on the 29th and that would be the final date. I was told that clubs would vote and majority would rule," he said.
"We went back to our club and said we aren't going to be told what to do and we will make the call in the best interest of our club."
With much uncertainty surrounding the season, Spratling said players and volunteers had started to lose interest and motivation.
He said feelings intensified after last weekend when COVID-19 restrictions tightened following a spate of new cases.
"We certainly would have played if enough players had wanted to," he said.
"We are in a good financial position, we've got a lot of stability within our playing group and committee, but we thought for eight weeks of a season, we didn't know what we'd get out of it other than lost money and crowds."
We certainly would have played if enough players had wanted to.Greg Spratling
Spratling said the social aspect was a big reason behind the decision as well. He said he couldn't stand the thought of having to potentially turn away a life member at the gate.
"That's just not country footy," he said.
At a presidents meeting last Thursday, Spratling said clubs got an opportunity to express their stance on the season. He said the majority of clubs preferred not to play.
"There was a couple that were undecided and a few that said they would like to play," he said.
Spratling said the decision would not effect juniors at this stage.
Carngham-Linton was one of two clubs to pull the pin on Wednesday.
Clunes also publicly withdrew, with president Brendan Sheehan posting a statement on Facebook confirming the Magpies had abandoned the campaign.