WAFL: Hopes high for West Perth recovery

West Perth walk off victorious over Peel Thunder at Joondalup Arena on Saturday. Picture: J Bianchini
West Perth walk off victorious over Peel Thunder at Joondalup Arena on Saturday. Picture: J Bianchini

WEST Perth supporters bought about 100 memberships and merchandise last week to help the oldest WAFL club claw its way back from an $800,000 debt during voluntary administration.

Falcons president Scott Ballem said the board was “extremely confident that we can work through this process with administrators and set the club up for a far healthier future”.

“The immediate response last weekend from members and supporters was a great start but we still have an enormous amount of work to do,” he said.

“Over the coming weeks we will be very active in promoting our events and fundraising strategies… and we encourage every West Perth fan to engage with us.

“Winning on the weekend was further testament to the resolve of our players and coaches to ensure they stay focused on their job during this period, which is to make a strong push for a big showing in the finals.

“Their collective efforts to show the strength of our club on-field has and will remain a critical component to the promotion of our club through this period.”

Ballem was set to meet the West Perth past players group this afternoon to outline a proposed schedule of fundraising events ahead of a meeting with the club’s commercial committee.

“We have a couple of options in relation to the last home game against Subiaco for sponsorship and we also have a function arranged for our last game against East Perth in Leederville,” he said.

The club went into voluntary administration last week, with debts of nearly $800,000.

It owes the Australian Tax Office about $200,000 and the same to HBF Arena operator Venues West.

Club supporter Kevin Stewart recently donated $57,000 to pay players.

“Any future payments owing through this administration period are covered via funding from the WA Football Commission that is for the specific purpose of staff and player payments,” Ballem said.

Mr Ballem was last week forced to defend the board’s 5-2 decision to enter voluntary administration.

Former Falcons president Colin Rockman said West Perth members should have been given a say on whether to enter administration and a chance to raise money.