Snub for WA footy legends
Snub for WA footy legends

A shortage of money has been blamed for the cancellation of this year's WA Football Hall of Fame dinner.

Football chiefs have decided to scale back the celebration dedicated to recognising WA's greatest players, coaches, umpires and administrators to once every two years.

There has been an annual induction ceremony since the Hall of Fame was inaugurated a decade ago.

It is understood the dinner, held last year at Crown Perth, costs more than $150,000 to run.

NAB puts in $30,000 a year as a major sponsor of the event, but the WA Football Commission has become unwilling to make up the shortfall.

Hall of Fame selection panel member and Sandover medallist John Todd labelled scaling back the Hall of Fame to a biennial event as a disgrace.

"The powers that be, I don't think they've got the fortitude to go out there and bang the drum," Todd said.

"That's our heritage. You need to acknowledge players and what they've contributed, the service that people have given - perhaps a lifespan.

"They've brought entertainment to thousands of people.

"If we can't acknowledge some of those people who contributed and have become legends on a night that's a big occasion, where are we going?

"This is not acceptable."

Todd, one of only 15 legends in the Hall of Fame, said WA's two AFL clubs should dip into their pockets to guarantee the dinner was an annual function.

However, a West Coast spokesman said the club was running its own Eagles Hall of Fame event.

Another legend, Barry Cable, said holding it every two years felt like a token effort.

"We don't want to lose the history of the game," Cable said.

The commission posted a $1.78 million trading loss for the year ending October 31, 2012.

That position improved to a $953,330 profit for the 12 months to October 31 last year.

Arrangements for WA's new stadium are still to be finalised and doubt remains over how the AFL alignment model will affect the WAFL competition.

WAFC chief executive Gary Walton said making the function biennial would maintain the "standard of excellence" expected of the event.

"The decision to transition the Hall of Fame to a biennial event was made for both financial reasons and to the number of inductions required under the Hall of Fame charter currently being exceeded," he said.

"This charter required 80 persons to be inducted in the first year followed by up to six persons for each year thereafter."

A total of 153 of the game's greats have been inducted, 19 more than the charter dictated.

"The powers that be, I don't think they've got the fortitude to go out there and bang the drum." " WA football legend *John Todd *

The West Australian

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