EAST PERTH and Subiaco football clubs have been left reeling after being told they’ll each have to find an extra $46,000 a year to keep leasing Leederville Oval.
Vincent council recently reviewed the clubs’ 21-year leases and discovered it had been paying more than its share of turf maintenance, insurance, water and power as well as other outgoings.
The council has approved a waiver of 50 per cent of the outstanding fees for the last financial year, but the clubs have been told that from herein there’ll be no more subsidising.
Subiaco CEO Peter Capes says his club can’t wear the additional costs, which come on top of losing the oval’s major sponsor, Medibank, last year.
“The council clearly understands that, they understand the position we’re in, and they understand that we have to work as a group to try to drive those costs down and to do other things to generate more revenue onto the reserve,” Mr Capes told the Voice.
“But it’s slow and we’re going on a lot of trust and faith.
“No, we’re not happy but we are working toward a resolution of it all.”
East Perth CEO Dean Turner says it’s lucky his club had squirrelled away some money to soften the blow but also doubts they’ll be able to sustain it for the long term.
“The issue for us, and probably Subiaco, is that the costs that we’re now inheriting here at Leederville Oval is almost double what Claremont, East Fremantle, Swans, Perth incur.
“Other clubs are paying half the amount Subiaco and East Perth are paying and they get a full oval.
“But if that was the lease arrangement, then that’s the lease arrangement.”
Mr Turner says the club is also aggrieved that in the last couple of years the council has stopped putting money into a reserve fund for ground maintenance.
“It’s not that we’re doing the wrong thing, it’s just that the council has stopped doing that.”
The council is currently working on a master plan for the oval, and both clubs are hoping it will help spruce up the ageing oval, generating income and helping with costs.
“I suppose we’re hanging our hats on that, waiting to see what comes from it,” Mr Turner said.
“The current facility is about 60 years old.
“They said Subiaco was too old and that was only about 40 years old they’re knocking that down.
“You can imagine that the maintenance is horrendous.
“For whatever reason our power bills have doubled, our water bills have doubled in the last 12 months.”
Mr Turner says at the same time, the council seemed to be falling behind with its maintenance, perhaps with the expectation that the facility was going to be demolished.
by STEVE GRANT and ALICE ANGELONI