Football club accepts punishment

KYBYBOLITE Football Club has accepted fines totalling $18,350 and will be stripped of 16 premiership points (the equivalent of four wins) this season for breaches of SANFL player payment regulations.

In addition to penalties imposed on the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara club, player Lachlan McGregor has been suspended for eight matches and fined $3500 for accepting a sign-on payment.

Charges for breaches of regulations pertaining to the player payment salary cap were laid by SANFL Community Football earlier this month against the club, as well as McGregor, another player whose name is suppressed, senior coach at the time of the breaches Tim Leehane and club official John Cooper.

The charges against the club were in relation to upfront sign-on payments and offers made to three players in the lead up to the 2018 season, along with a breach of the match payment limit and failing to declare full payment details.

The charges followed an investigation by SANFL’s Player Payments Investigation Committee.

SANFL community football manager and Millicent premiership player Matt Duldig said the penalties issued to Kybybolite and individuals involved were a reminder to all community football clubs breaches of the salary cap regulations will be taken extremely seriously.

“The regulations, which are clear in not permitting any sign-on payments for players, have been in place for the past three years and there is no excuse for any player or official breaching these rules,” he said.

Duldig said the Kybybolite Football Club, led by new president Jamie Tidy, had been fully co-operative during the investigation and the current executive of the club, all of whom were not involved in the breaches, had demonstrated a commitment to improving internal controls and taking the club in a positive direction.

Tidy said Kybybolite had a proud history and accepted full responsibility for the club’s actions.

“We are now working closely with SANFL to implement new processes within the club and ensure Kyby gets back on track to becoming a successful and sustainable football club in the future,” Tidy said.

CLUB PENALITIES

– $18,350 fine (with $6000 suspended until the end of the 2021 season) issued to the club for upfront player payments and offers, as well as a breach of the total match fee limit and failing to lodge full payment details.

– Loss of four Approved Player Points System (APPS) points in both season 2019 and 2020.

– Loss of 16 premiership points in 2019 (equivalent of four wins).

Individual penalties

– Club official John Cooper suspended for three years from holding any official role with an affiliated league or club and fined $2000.

– Senior coach at the time, Tim Leehane, suspended for 12 months from holding any official role with an affiliated league or club and fined $1000.

– Player Lachlan McGregor fined $3500 ($1,000 of which is suspended) and suspended for eight matches in the 2019 season.

– A second player, whose name is suppressed, fined $1500 ($1,000 of which is suspended) and suspended for two matches in the 2019 season.