WAFL: WA Football Commission registers ‘Joondalup Falcons’, sparking fears of forced West Perth name change

West Perth, which has so far raised more than $140,000 to off-set its huge debt, took on ladder-leader Subiaco last weekend. Picture: Dan White
West Perth, which has so far raised more than $140,000 to off-set its huge debt, took on ladder-leader Subiaco last weekend. Picture: Dan White

THE WA Football Commission has registered the name ‘Joondalup Falcons’, prompting fears fledgling WAFL club West Perth may be forced to change its name.

Community News understands the WAFC registered it with ASIC about two weeks ago to “protect an industry asset”.

West Perth, which came under pressure to change its name a few years ago to Joondalup Falcons to reflect its home since 1994, only found out about the ASIC listing today.

President Scott Ballem, who has been in charge of fundraising efforts to claw back a debt of nearly $800,000 while the club is in voluntary administration, would not be drawn on the WAFC development as he had “only found out today”.

Asked if the commission, which has loaned administrator Korda Mentha $250,000 to pay players and staff, had raised a potential name change, Ballem said: “Name change has not come up in discussions with WAFC.”

Asked if supporters had raised a change to Joondalup Falcons, he said: “No just media asking if it’s on the cards.”

WAFC chief executive Gavin Taylor has been contacted for comment.

Former president Brett Raponi feared the commission would take over the club at the end of the voluntary administration period in two weeks and force the club to change its name without a significant financial backer.

He said if it could be shown big sponsorship money would follow if West Perth changed its name, the club would consider a change.

“You hear on talkback radio people that don’t put money into the club think that changing the name is a great panacea and money will come,” he said.

“If the money’s there, a name change would be up for consideration absolutely.

“We don’t want to change the name with our fingers crossed and hope money will follow; the name is the only asset the club has.”

Raponi said in his eight years as president no-one had told him at all the events he attended that they would not sponsor the club “because we were West Perth”.

He also questioned whether West Perth would be in Joondalup in 20 years, throwing up Kingsway and Alkimos as possible future homes.

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