West Perth have threatened to send a reserves team to the Foxtel Cup grand final after they failed to have their next WAFL fixture moved back a day.
The WA Football Commission last night rejected West Perth's bid to schedule a five-day break before their round-18 game against arch rivals East Perth.
In a clear parallel to John Todd's protest in 1982 that got Swan Districts banned from the national Escort Cup competition for two years, the Falcons are now considering withdrawing league players from the Foxtel Cup grand final against Williamstown at Simonds Stadium on Tuesday, July 22.
West Perth coach Bill Monaghan warned this week that a reserves team might be used against Williamstown if they had to endure a four-day break before the East Perth game.
"If we don't get what we perceive as a good break then we can't guarantee the strength of the side we are going to take over," Monaghan said in a story on the club's website. "If the commission doesn't step in, then my view is that if I send my whole reserves side then they shouldn't have any comeback against me....
"We think it's a fair request, but if it's not adhered to there is nothing we can do, and we move on and pick sides based on what we think is in the best interests of our players."
WAFL manager Cam Knapton yesterday rejected West Perth's request on the grounds that all clubs entered the Foxtel Cup knowing that four-day breaks were part of the landscape.
East Perth, who were knocked out of the competition after losing to Williamstown on Tuesday night, were keen to maintain Saturday afternoons as their preferred WAFL fixture.
West Perth president Brett Raponi was disappointed.
"A Sunday stand-alone game could have drawn a big home crowd for East Perth, but we will live with the decision and move on," he said. "We also support WAFL clubs retaining the right to determine their own schedule."
The fifth-placed Falcons face a critical month with matches against each member of the top four as they attempt to keep alive their premiership defence.
West Perth could earn $100,000 if they beat Williamstown, as well as a guaranteed extra $10,000 compensation for travelling interstate twice, but their approach is likely to be dictated by their fate in the WAFL.
Todd was coaching Swan Districts in 1982 when he protested against a late change to the Escort Cup schedule by sending his reserves team to play Richmond at Waverley.
Swans lost by 186 points and were banned from the Escort Cup for the next two years.
"If we don't get what we perceive as a good break … we can't guarantee the strength of the side …""West Perth coach *Bill Monaghan *