Stunning protest: Footy club faces $5000 in fines
THE Goodna Rugby League Club could face fines of "at least $5000'' and further action after withdrawing two teams from Sunday's scheduled Ipswich competition matches at Purga.
New club president Ramon Filipine made the decision to pull Goodna's A Grade and Reserve Grade teams from the latest Rugby League Ipswich round against Swifts, being upset at how points were allocated for certain new players.
The premiership-winning Goodna captain is believed to be angry over the weighting of points given to some of his players under the RLI's Player Points Index.
In a similar system to the NRL salary cap, each Ipswich A-Grade team is allowed to a field a team of players with a maximum of 100 points accredited to them.
Players receive points based on their past level of rugby league experience in an attempt to create a more even competition.
However, after learning late in the week that some player allocations would force Goodna to exceed the 100 point limit, Filipine took a strong stance in his new role as club president.
Goodna A-Grade coach Laurie Campbell confirmed Filipine authorised the decision to withdraw both teams from this afternoon's matches.
Rugby League Ipswich board chairman David Nugent was disappointed with the decision in what he acknowledged was a "developing issue'' in the game.
"Ramon Filipine, who is now the president down at the club, has been working with us to register all his new players and the Jets players that are coming back to his club in the last few days,'' Nugent said.
"He's probably a little unhappy with how we have valued him under our Player Points Index.
"The whole team has to be under 100 points.''
Nugent acknowledged Filipine's efforts bringing better players to last year's A Grade premiership-winning side.
However, Nugent said Filipine "now has got six or seven players that are worth 12 points or more so it's going to make it quite difficult for him to actually have 17 capped under the 100 points''.
"So he's taken the stance that his team won't take the field until we allow him to have as many players as he wants and at a points value he thinks they should be allocated to enter into our competition.''
Nugent said the Player Points Index was published each year and all clubs were notified of the guidelines "to be completely transparent across the league''.
"There has been a small change in so far as players coming back from the Jets that are dual-signed,'' he said.
"They will be given a certain points allocation and be allocated to certain clubs.''
Nugent said all clubs agreed to that to "even out our competition''.
"Any Jets players that aren't in PNG this weekend (for the Intrust Super Cup round one match) have been allocated to a club to play football yesterday and today,'' he said.
Campbell understood the RLI's position but claimed Goodna were told some players were originally worth six points before having that value increased to 12 or 15 late in the week.
He said a meeting with players over the weekend confirmed the action.
Campbell said the player points issue centred on what he claims Goodna were promised and had changed, putting the Eagles A-Grade side over the 100 point limit.
Campbell said Goodna took issue with how two new players coming to Goodna were loaded with points, more than originally notified about.
"Ramon was very, very angry about it,'' Campbell said.
Being involved with Ipswich rugby league for 30 years, the Goodna coach said his hands were tied on the complex issue. He would have preferred the games be played and resolve the matter through the week.
However, as a loyal clubman, Campbell said he had to work through the problem with his players and president.
Nugent said Goodna's action to withdraw both teams left the club likely to face serious consequences.
"It goes down as a late forfeit, which is a $3000 fine for an A-Grade side,'' he said.
"If you forfeit your A-Grade team, it means your Reserve Grade side must play your A-Grade fixture.''
Nugent said if both teams declined to play, the Goodna club was "looking down the barrel of fines of at least $5000'' . . . "and that's without any disciplinary issues or charges of bringing the game into disrepute'' that also may be considered.
Nugent said Swifts would receive the three points on the competition leader.