The West

Clubs look to courts over WAFL open slather call
Haydn Raitt. Pic: WA News

Furious WAFL presidents will seek legal advice after the WA Football Commission told them East Perth and Peel could field up to six interstate recruits and have no restrictions on the number of AFL players each week when they align with West Coast and Fremantle in 2014.

The presidents are also incensed that any disgruntled Thunder or Royals players would be subjected to transfer fees if they sought more opportunities at other clubs.

The presidents wrote to the WAFC with 32 concerns about the competition changes and were annoyed with the response.

Council of presidents chairman Haydn Raitt said it wasn't healthy for the competition that there could be only a handful of home-grown players selected for the Royals and Thunder each week.

"We're not happy with it at all. They've made the rules up after they've delivered the document," Raitt said.

"They haven't restricted the amount of AFL players that can play at any one given time.

"That was something we were looking at to stop them from being a powerhouse and to let the young blokes from the area get a fair representation in the league side.

"I don't know legally what our options are but we are going to continue to fight and we're not going to give up. We don't want to jeopardise our licences but we're not happy with it. We will continue to fight for a better deal.

"We are here to look after the WAFL. The commission is there to make sure the WAFL and the AFL are looked after and we feel the WAFL isn't getting a fair enough deal."

The club CEOs met yesterday to discuss their plan of attack and have a meeting with WAFL pathways and competition director Grant Dorrington and WAFC chief executive Gary Walton today.

West Perth president Brett Raponi described the WAFC's response as "an insult" and called for free transfers for players who were forced out of league teams because of the alignments.

He criticised the WAFC for including an option to reduce or increase the number of out-of-zone players available to the aligned clubs depending on performances.

"It strikes at the integrity of an open competition. You can't manipulate the list," Raponi said.

"The commission is saying 'if these clubs are underpowered, we'll assist. If they're over powered, we'll assist'."

"It strikes at the integrity of an open competition. You can't manipulate the list." " West Perth president *Brett Raponi *

The West Australian

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