The Southern Football League Inc (SFL) has now completed the investigation and the resultant Disciplinary Sub-Committee meetings with the Mount Waverley Football Club (MWFC) and Carrum-Patterson Lakes Football Club (CPLFC) and a number of supporters of MWFC that arose out of the non-completed 2014 Division 3 Senior Grand Final at Heatherton Reserve.
The SFL Board appointed an independent investigator to investigate matters in relation to the incident and he presented a comprehensive report to the SFL Board. As a result, the SFL Board determined that MWFC and CPLFC engaged in conduct prejudicial to the SFL (contrary to Rule 19(c) of the SFL Rules) when players, officials and supporters were involved in an incident at half-time of the Division 3 Senior Grand Final.
The SFL Board appointed a Disciplinary Sub-Committee in accordance with Rule 20(1) to determine what action, if any, to take against each club. In addition, the SFL Board also decided that a number of MWFC supporters (five in all) had engaged in conduct that had brought the game of football into disrepute and should be dealt with under By Law 34.5 of the SFL By-Laws.
As a result the following penalties were determined:
1. That MWFC be fined $2,000.00 for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the SFL. In addition the MWFC was placed on a $2,000.00 bond to be of good behaviour for the next 12 months.
2. That CPLFC receive a severe reprimand for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the SFL. In addition, the CPLFC was placed on a $2,000.00 bond to be of good behaviour for the next 12 months.
In the next 12 months, should either club be found guilty of any breaches that are considered to have brought the game into disrepute or engaging in conduct prejudicial to the SFL, they will forfeit the $2,000.00 bond to the SFL.
With respect to the MWFC supporters, penalties ranging from a severe reprimand to five and six week match suspensions from Home and Away fixture matches as players, officials and/or supporters were imposed. The suspensions will be effective for the 2015 season and will prevent the individuals attending any SFL games.
The SFL Board determined that as both clubs engaged in conduct prejudicial to the SFL, there will be no result from the 2014 Division 3 Senior Grand Final and as a result, there is no 2014 Division 3 Premier, and no Division 3 club will be promoted to Division 2 in season 2015.
The SFL is currently reviewing a number of aspects regarding finals management and will be taking action to reduce the risk or possibility of such incidents occurring in the future.
The SFL and its member clubs have worked hard to build fun, safe, fair and inclusive environments and we will collectively ensure that this mantra continues.