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Fears WAFL could be big loser at Burswood

WAFL presidents want the WA Football Commission to get a guarantee from the State Government on management plans for the new Perth stadium to allay fears their league will be financially punished under the move to Burswood.

The Barnett Government is due to announce who will run the $1.2 billion venue at the end of next year.

WAFC chief executive Gary Walton says it expects to be the sole stadium operator. Eighty per cent of the WAFC's funding is generated from its management of Patersons Stadium.

WAFL council of presidents' chairman Brett Raponi has met WAFC officials to express fears football would not receive as much money as it did under existing arrangements.

In a written statement sent to _The West Australian _, Raponi said the council was extremely concerned WA's historic competition would be "severely compromised" without a long-term guarantee from the Government.

"Our fear is that the current discussions surrounding management and financial arrangements at the new Perth stadium are too inconclusive for the WAFL to support or endorse a move away from existing arrangements at this time," he wrote.

"We encourage the WAFC to consider revisiting the redevelopment of Patersons Stadium as an alternative option if a satisfactory outcome to fund the future of grassroots football at the new Perth stadium cannot be reached with the State Government."

The concerns have been heightened with South Australia's two AFL clubs experiencing higher-than-expected costs hosting matches at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

About $45 million in annual revenue is generated by Fremantle and West Coast games at Patersons Stadium under the 99-year lease held by the WAFC.

Of that income, the seven non-aligned WAFL clubs each receive about $580,000 a year.

Raponi wants reassurances WA football's history will be recognised at Burswood.

An announcement is yet to be made on replicating the Sandover Medal walk of fame and gates and rooms named after WA football legends, including Barry Cable and Merv Cowan.

Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said commercial discussions were due to be finished by the end of this year.

"WA taxpayers have a long history of supporting local football," Waldron said.