The West Coast Eagles will field a stand-alone team in the WAFL next season after the WAFL Council of Presidents tonight voted in favour of the club’s inclusion in the local competition.
After the collapse of the five-year alignment with East Perth, the two clubs opting to go their separate ways, West Coast has been in discussions with the WA Football Commission about a long-term solution for players missing AFL selection.
“We are most appreciative of the support we have received from the WAFL Council of Presidents,” West Coast Eagles Chief Executive Officer Trevor Nisbett said tonight.
“This solution is paramount to the development of our young players who are not selected in the senior side.
“Having those players learning their craft in the same team, playing to the same game plan is essential and we are grateful for the support of the WAFL clubs.
“While we enjoyed the alignment with East Perth, despite some challenges, it was always our preference to have a stand-alone team in the WAFL.
“We now have that opportunity and we will work with the WA Football Commission and the WAFL clubs to ensure this arrangements works for everyone.
“We will now begin to build our list, including top-up players, within the parameters agreed upon, so that we are ready to compete in 2019.”
West Coast will pay a $90,000 one-off sign on fee and invest approximately $800,000 annually, to field a stand-alone team in the WAFL.
The $90,000 one-off sign fee will be shared equally among the nine WAFL clubs.
The annual financial investment of $800,000 includes:
- Continuing the current $467,000 + CPI alignment fee
- An additional $45,000 to be shared equally among nine WAFL clubs
- $230,000 to East Perth Football Club to reinstate funding equal to other non-partner clubs
- $54,000 in competition costs associated with an additional fixture eg. umpiring, vision, statistics and match day staff
The West Coast Eagles will become the 10th team in the WAFL competition, with a fixture to be formulated so that all teams play each other twice while still retaining byes and marquee rounds throughout the season.
This is expected to include 18 games per club across 21 Rounds, with WAFL clubs expected to host the West Coast Eagles at their home venue in 2019.