SITUATION CRITICAL: Leagues could collapse

WITHOUT imminent change, the Central Murray and Golden Rivers football and netball leagues are at serious risk of collapse, a review working party has warned.

The review working party, established to assess the health and sustainability of both leagues, handed down its draft 19-page report and recommendations on Wednesday night, concluding changes were urgent to ensure the leagues' survival and success.

More than 80 people heard from AFL Central Murray commission chairman, Neville Brady and AFL regional manager, Bruce Petering.

The review began in November last year by the review working party which independently conducted studies to analyse the current state of the two leagues.

From the review, key areas of concern were identified and recommendations proposed on how to best overcome them, including the merger of both league boards.

The main areas of concern were scarcity of players, volunteer burnout, complexities associated with managing a modern club and player caps.

The working party made it clear its role was not to force change upon clubs, nor was it in a position to authorise any club to merge or fold.

Instead, using statistical and anecdotal data, it set about finding a solution to overcome the problems faced by both leagues moving into the future.

Mr Petering said, "The situation is critical".

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