The West

WAFL clubs are expected to tell the WA Football Commission the AFL alignment has diminished the league and given East Perth an unfair advantage.

Each club has been asked to complete a survey on the AFL partnership model introduced this year and contracted to run for five seasons.

Clubs were asked if they agreed with concepts such as whether the alignment had influenced the result of WAFL matches, whether host clubs East Perth and Peel had received advantages with personnel or sponsors, and whether the partnership between the two local AFL clubs and their WAFL affiliates was good for the competition.

"Given that West Coast pays for the East Perth coach's salary and supplies several assistant coaches from their own ranks, it is not a hard question to answer when asked if the alignment has provided any unfair advantages," one club official said.

"Our coaching bill is in the vicinity of $100,000, yet another club barely pays a cent for their coaches."

East Perth, who are third on the ladder with six wins from eight matches, host AFL-listed players not required by the Eagles each week. Spare Fremantle players represent Peel, who haven't won a game this season.

Each club's president, chief executive, coach, captain, football manager and player development officer were asked to complete the survey. They will be given the same questions after round 18 and the finals.

WAFC chief operating officer Nick Sautner said the survey responses would provide the league with vital information.

"It is part of our commitment to reviewing the partner model at the end of the year," he said.

"We need to get an understanding of the issues and the challenges of the model."

Clubs are likely to criticise several elements of the alignment, including a significant drop in crowds, the mediocre ABC TV ratings and limited promotion of the competition.

The alignment was introduced last year after the clubs rejected a joint proposal from West Coast and Fremantle in 2011 to field stand-alone reserves teams.

It is likely that clubs will use the survey to suggest West Coast and East Perth sever their links to allow a separate Eagles reserves team, while Fremantle take over the dysfunctional Peel and run the WAFL club.

The West Australian

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