Message from the CEO

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 3:37 PM


The Board of the Subiaco Football Club owes you some background and would like to provide you with our submission to the WAFC in regards to the competitive balance and equalisation process.

Firstly, to penalise the premiership winning team for being “dominant” in a competition where only six years ago we finished 8th! And we have met all the rules that includes points limits and salary caps and we spend a similar amount in our football department as most of our opposition is simply a very poor reflection on the WAFL and its other teams.  

We are told the industry stakeholders demanded something be done and that included nearly all the other WAFL Clubs.  Extremely disappointing!

In initial discussions with the WAFC about equalising and penalising SFC, we suggested they look at the rest of the competition and had they requested reasons why South Fremantle, Claremont and West Perth (these finals teams in particular) did not use their available points to be more competitive?  They could each have recruited at least 3 x 10 point players each and that would have made a difference and that each need to be accountable for those decisions. 

Was it to do with TPP salary cap pressure concerns about overspending stopping them recruiting  or alternatively pressure from their Clubs to spend less and save money in this area or simply an inability to attract recruits? Or some other reason?   We think this is still an important unanswered issue.

SFC Response to the WAFC WAFL Competitive Balance Draft Recommendations for 2020.

The SFC Football Operations group have the following club feedback but emphasize that any penalty on the premier club is strongly opposed.

Proposal to Reduce Clubs to a base of 100 points

  • Takes higher value players out of the WAFL competition and will weaken the WAFL.
  • Will make AFL /aligned clubs stronger in comparison.
  • Competing clubs that agree to a SFC penalty must be held to account about their points use and salary cap spend – maybe that’s the problem!

More emphasis on “Local district players”

  • Zones are clearly very unequal and a focus on that cannot be introduced before that is sorted out and bedded in.
  • Non-district players are still WA footballers and that needs to be recognised.  Players move for all sorts of reasons – opportunity, recognition, not valued, looking for a new start etc .  
  • Having a list of nearly all WA produced players should be positively recognised as should the voluntary ongoing points reductions and interstate recruitment by clubs.
  • WAFL Clubs do not control the talent pathway and have little say in its effectiveness or focus on future WAFL players and will strongly impact the quality of “local district players”. 
  • WAFL Clubs can only negotiate their district priorities with the WAFC – a strong focus on youth football has not always been shared!

Penalty on SFC for Winning 2019 Grand Final

  • Pathetic for a competition to be even discussing – reflection on all involved
  • 100 points will just cover the current list of players at the end of 2019
  • We expect 10 to 15 players to leave the senior program before 2020 and must be replaced.  The ability to recruit 1 point players to at least fill these gaps is essential to fill the list and field a reserves team. This is not about the quality of the list.
  • Like for Like – this is very important if a Ben Sokol or other quality regular league player does not play next year. 
  • We clearly think that if the competition minimum points total is 100, we should be able to fill that number of points as necessary. 
  • Our current list strategy is to develop our players and only fill when players exit the club and a need is obvious -  see comments about List Maintenance below.
  • What clubs support a penalty on Subiaco – we would request an understanding of which of our peers supported that – open and accountable.  


  • If this is even considered it will severely impact our club for years to come.  Think what happens to clubs who do not or cannot at least maintain somewhere near the quality of their list WHEN everyone else is improving theirs. 
  • Finalists South Fremantle, Claremont, West Perth have all got points to recruit quality players even if the base 100 points is introduced. Their lists will improve, and so they should be aiming to do that.  
  • If SFC cannot at least recruit 1 point players and like for like then a list disaster is in the making.
  • Our local zone very clearly has the lowest number of players of all clubs and this was very clearly emphasised in the 2019 Boundary Review. 


  • SFC’s recruitment of league quality non– district players in the last 2 years particularly has been minimal (5 players) compared to key losses of regular league players (15)  – in fact we know recruitment has been in decline as we chose to develop our own players – a club directive and key reason for the appointment of Beau Wardman.
  • Season 2019: IN (1): Harry Marsh OUT (9): Zac Clarke, Chris Phelan, Josh Deluca, Jack Mayo, Adam Cockie, Brad Stevenson, Ethan Burnett, Daniel Perkins, Chris Bryan (all league players)
  • Season 2018-     IN (4): Ben Newton, Zac Clarke, Drew Rhode, Kaiden Fullgrabe OUT (6): Wayde Twomey, Liam Ryan, Corey Adamson, Scott Hancock, Declan Jackson, Liam Baker, 
  • Based on this – other clubs can hardly complain about SFC recruitment!!


  • The very unfortunate quote from your CEO followed by a poor effort by the WAFC hierarchy to defend the integrity of the competition that encouraged and fostered ill-informed comment to continue and further damage the WAFL.
  • The immediate focus on dragging SFC down has been damaging!
  • Defending the integrity of the WAFL and ensuring the industry/stakeholders understands the measures that the ruling body has in place to ensure all that is vital to a highly valued competition.  Too many WAFC and stakeholders have ill-informed views and that has been allowed to continue in the media / social media.
  • The negative damaging comments played out in the media/ social media do little to promote the WAFL – in fact the opposite.


Peter Capes