A GROUP formed to fight Fremantle’s move away from its port city base say the Dockers are wrong to ask for financial donations to help fund its move to Cockburn Central West.
The club first made the request when it revealed it had launched the Fremantle Dockers Foundation to “support important on and off-field work of the club”.
The Foundation’s first aim will be to fund the opening of the Dockers’ $12.94m elite training and administration facility at the new site in Cockburn, one part of the $108.4m recreation centre to open in 2017.
The club has spruiked the foundation in its club magazine and one its website, with AFL Hall of Fame inductee Peter Bell urging fans to support the initiative.
“The call is out to all Fremantle members and supporters to donate what they can,” he said.
“I know our members and supporters want to ensure the longevity of Freo and we desperately need this facility.”
Keep Freo in Freo, a group strongly opposed to the Dockers leaving their traditional home, was critical of the move to ask for money.
KFIF convenor Chris Lewis said fans were unhappy about the appeal, saying it was starting to look like “blokes in suits begging in the streets”.
“Why is the club appealing for money? If its making the move the money should be in the bank,” he said.
“Hopefully fans don’t get confused between real charities … and this foundation, which behind the facade is footy corporates trying to scalp more funds from the very people they are betraying …,” he said.
The Dockers say the Foundation, registered with the Australian Sports Foundation which was set up by the Federal Government to develop sport in this country, will also help pathway and development programs and community engagement.
It argues the move will help them keep up with the rest of the competition, saying they have done well to maintain strong performances on-field despite outdated facilities at Fremantle Oval.
Work on the facility is set to start in July, with a planned completion set for early 2017.