Eagles, Dockers licences staying put
Eagles, Dockers licences staying put

WA football leaders say there is no imminent threat of the West Australian Football Commission losing control of West Coast and Fremantle's AFL licences, despite a settlement being reached in South Australia to buy the licences off the South Australian Football Commission.

The SAFC this week signed a heads of agreement with the AFL to transfer the licences to the control of Port Adelaide and Adelaide, who will now be licensed directly to the AFL.

The agreement will see the two clubs make more than $18 million in payments to the SAFC and SANFL between now and 2028.

AFL commitments made to the SAFC over the same period will take the value of the deal to an estimated $63 million to be paid over the next 15 years.

The AFL held discussions with local football leaders in 2012 after both the Eagles and Fremantle indicated they wanted their licence structures brought into line with those of their rivals.

But the AFL has since indicated the licence issue is for WA football leaders to decide.

West Coast and Fremantle CEOs Trevor Nisbett and Steve Rosich both said there had been no talks on licence structure in the past 12 months and there were none planned for the near future. WAFC chairman Frank Cooper said other issues had assumed priority.

The more pressing issues include developing a new economic model for when the new Burswood Stadium is established, what to do with Patersons Stadium at that point, bedding down the new alignment model in the WAFL and making sure that all WAFL clubs are viable.

"I can tell you at the moment that it is all pretty quiet on the licence front," Cooper said. "It is a lower-order issue for the clubs."

Cooper acknowledged the issue may be raised again when the new economic model for WA football is debated further but stressed: "We need to be persuaded there is a better way to do it."

In South Australia, Adelaide will pay $11.326 million, while Port Adelaide will pay $6.985 million in grants to the SAFC between 2013 and 2028 to get control of their licences.

The AFL has agreed the SANFL will continue to manage and develop the game there and will pay grants and fees of about $45 million over the next 15 years.

SAFC chairman John Olsen labelled the agreement "an extremely strong outcome" for South Australian football.

The West Australian

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