North Launceston president Thane Brady has sparked a heated debate over scheduling of the TSLW grand final.
A social media post from the outspoken leader divided public opinion on Wednesday with some female players taking offence to some passages of the statement.
Brady is arguing that AFL Tasmania’s decision to host the TSLW decider in the middle of the development league and State League grand finals was erroneous.
And he has called for it to be staged as the first or last match on September 15 at UTAS Stadium.
“Imagine scheduling a weekend garage band still learning their craft in between Beyoncé and Pink, or in between Vance Joy and Peking Duk?,” the statement read.
“Would this be in the best interest of the garage band or would an unfair comparison be made potentially damaging their fledgling brand?
“Last year [then] AFL Tas CEO Rob Auld took the decision to play the TSL women’s grand final in between the men’s [development league] and seniors.
“Rob’s decision was a disaster – financially, as a spectacle and to the women’s brand he was pushing down the throats of people who paid good money to be entertained by the best brand of football in the state at the best facility.
“The only winners on the day were the pubs around UTAS that filled up with people unable to wait around at the ground for the senior game.”
North Launceston has a provisional licence to join the TSLW next season and Brady said he did not intend to offend or degrade women’s football, with his comments in response to AFL Tasmania’s plays to run with the same grand final schedule in a fortnight’s time.
He said his concerns are about protecting the TSLW and respecting the development league.
“It’s without doubt people spoke with their feet last year with an excellent crowd for the [development league] game disappearing before half time of the TSLW leaving the stadium empty,” Brady said.
Without doubt people spoke with their feet last year.North Launceston president Thane Brady
“It’s been suggested to AFL Tas previously if they want to promote TSLW, why not play the grand final under lights after the senior game?
“That way the game is still celebrated.”
Among responses to the post on North Launceston’s Facebook page, many were outraged at what they saw as a condescending tone of Brady’s opinion, and TSL manager Carl Saunder disagreed with the sentiments.
“It is the logical time and the right time for the TSLW grand final to take place,” Saunder said.
“We have two senior premier statewide competitions in the TSL and TSLW and we will play them back to back in the showcase time slots.
“We are a bit bemused by the reaction as it doesn't seem like a big decision to us as we are merely giving the competition due respect.”
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