Ellinbank league shows its hand

The EDFL won't go ahead in 2020 unless all Covid-19 restrictions are eased by 30 June. 198017

By sports editor Russell Bennett

The Ellinbank and District Football League has declared its hand when it comes to the prospects of a 2020 season.

The EDFL board of management met earlier in the week, and a statement from chairman Roger Gwynne has since started surfacing on social media stating, in part: “Unless all restrictions are removed by 30 June, the 2020 EDFL football season will not be viable. Therefore, it will not proceed. The decision was unanimous”.

The statement was sent to all EDFL and EDNA (Ellinbank and District Netball Association) clubs, as well as the Gippsland Umpires Association.

The dominoes continue to fall across the state after powerhouse suburban competitions, the Eastern and Northern Football Netball Leagues released a joint statement announcing they’ve already pulled the pin on 2020.

Unless public gathering (crowd) restrictions are substantially eased in the coming weeks, the EDFL and EDNA is headed down the same path.

It’s understood many clubs are uncomfortable with proceeding under anything like the current restrictions, given they’d severely impact their ability to see a financial return from gate, canteen, and bar takings – in addition to the uncertainty from a health standpoint.

The EDFL statement continued: “The BOM (board of management) gave careful consideration to the feedback from all of our clubs, along with the latest advice from AFL Gippsland via AFL Victoria, the State Health Department and the Victorian Department of Sport and Recreation.

“The BOM agreed that it was most important to put the safety of the community first, and secondly not to jeopardise the finances of the league and clubs in 2020 – in order to ensure a more prosperous base for the EDFL in 2021 and beyond. Both EDNA and the GUA were present at the meeting and supported this stance.”

More to come.