PARENTS of aspiring young soccer stars were embroiled in a refund fight after pulling their children from Bayswater City, claiming the boys were offered A-team opportunities but eventually placed in lower teams.
Maylands resident Oleg Omelchuk, the father of two sons aged 12 and 10, said he wanted a refund for a player registration fee worth $595 as his youngest son Michael had faced several team changes before and during the season.
“For some reason, they set up another trial just before the season starts and they selected the kids again and Michael was allocated to the B team,” he said.
“Michael had a couple of trainings with the team ‘A’ but then they sent around another email saying that because of the lack of players, they basically get rid of the middle team which left the top and the bottom and Michael was moved to team C.”
Mr Olemchuk said his son cried for two days because he did not get to play a game with team A and refused to play in the C team.
“We tried to go back to Inglewood but they said they did not have any places… fortunately, we have some friends who are running a basketball team so they took him to play basketball,” he said.
“My point is that it is not that I am going to be richer from that refund of $595, it is just the principle; they cannot do that to our children.
“They said to the child that he was going to be in one team, so they should keep their word and it should not be the parents’ problem that they do not have enough coaches or anything else.”
The Eastern Reporter contacted Bayswater City about the matter and the club sent an official statement saying it was a private matter between the club and the member.
“We offer every junior a place to play, learn and develop their football,” the statement said.
Mr Olemchuk said he took the matter to the Department of Commerce who then contacted Bayswater City, which resulted in an offer of a 3 per cent refund.
“I sent an email back to them saying if they do not want to refund my money… I said to them I would be happy to accept a couple of training sessions for my oldest son and they refused to do that,” he said.
Another parent, Suzi Francis, said her son was also placed in the now defunct B team instead of the A team and eventually deregistered from the club in the second week of the season.
“When he was put in a different team than what we’d agreed on before we signed up, this level was not up to standard… the club agreed with us on this; the technical director even spoke to my husband about it and said it was a mistake,” she said.
Mrs Francis said they asked for a partial refund because they only trained for three weeks and did not receive a uniform or a bag, which was a part of the agreement.
“We’ve been to consumer affairs, who tried to negotiate on our behalf, but the club is refusing to budge… they would not return our calls or reply to our emails,” she said.
A Football West spokesman said clubs imposed their own costs such as coaching and equipment and managed individual teams.
“Refunds are possible depending on the refund policy of the club in question but any incorporated association would be required to abide by relevant legislation, such as the Australian Consumer Law,” he said.