West Perth Football Club's members and board will meet on Thursday evening at its Joondalup clubrooms after the Falcons called in administrators to address mounting debts.
The club has also accepted a $250,000 loan from the WA Football Commission to ensure it continues to play in the 2018 WAFL season while its future in the state league is scrutinised over the next five weeks.
A statement posted to the club’s site on Wednesday confirmed media reports of dire financial times at the Falcons, with members told West Perth was “currently working through various options to solidify its position with its creditors and the WAFC”.
“Based on discussions with the board of the WAFC and independent finance professionals, the Club is now at a point where it has decided a course of action to address its financial position and allow it to emerge as a long term, viable business,” the statement read.
“Over the last few months your board and management team have been working diligently to assess the extent of the situation and to explore the various options the Club may take to move forward.
“Given the serious implications of the decision taken by the board, a member forum to outline the situation will be convened at the club.”
Speaking to Basil Zempilas and Steve Mills on Radio 6PR’s Breakfast on Thursday, West Perth president Scott Ballem insisted the financial mire the club found itself in could not be attributed to “no one person, no one event” and said there had been “no misappropriation of funds”.
A WAFC statement announced the body’s move to provide a $250,000 to administrators Korda Mentha, which will manage the Falcons during the voluntary administration process.
The money will be used to support players and staff throughout the 2018 WAFL season, but would not go towards paying down West Perth’s debts.
WAFC chief executive Gavin Taylor said West Perth had an “important role” supporting growth and development of football in Perth’s northern corridor, and the loan ensured the integrity of the WAFL was maintained for the rest of the season.
“A loan to support the administrator specifically to meet player, coach and staff commitments to ensure the team can play out the 2018 season was seen as the appropriate response from the WAFC,” he said.
“It will be up to West Perth’s donors, sponsors, and supporters to rally around the club to support the administrator and the club to find the funding it needs to continue on into the longer term.”
Mr Taylor said the WAFC hoped to see the Falcons play on as part of the state competition for years to come and urged fans to support the club.
The WAFC directed queries on West Perth’s administration to Korda Mentha.
Cameron Myles is a homepage editor with WAtoday. Prior to joining the team, he was a journalist, sub-editor and editor at several publications up and down the West Australian coast, going from the red dirt of Karratha to the vineyards and beaches of Busselton and Margaret River.