Victoria’s most dysfunctional council, the City of Casey, continues to lurch from crisis to crisis with news that their much vaunted deal with the Melbourne Football Club is on the brink of collapse.
The demise of the deal follows claims that some councillors were seeking to obtain the Club’s assistance in their political fundraising for council elections scheduled for next month. The claims have been referred to the Ombudsman and the AFL Commission for investigation.
The council that infamously poisoned the Brooklands Green estate with a toxic tip that continues to spew out methane and other toxins had committed to spend millions of ratepayer dollars on a training facility for the use of the Melbourne Football Club at Casey Fields, in Cranbourne.
Casey CEO Mike Tyler, who took holidays in the middle of the Brooklands Green crisis, has been the principal champion of the deal with Melbourne and is understood to have informed councillors yesterday that talks with the club were grinding to a standstill.
Despite his holidays, Tyler has visibly aged according to council insiders since one of the state’s biggest environmental catastrophes exploded.
Part of the arrangement with the Club was that its predominantly inner-city based players would spend a little time in the community, visiting schools, holding clinics for kids to teach them the game and so on.
The Club now appears reluctant to continue with that commitment, jeopardising the whole deal.
Melbourne Football Club insiders speculate that the long drive for the mainly inner-city based playing group would have been the biggest factor in killing the deal, a claim that brings into question the Casey’s council strategy in the first place.
Councillor Kevin Bradford had led the community charge against the expensive distraction, arguing that if the council had surplus funds to spend on elite AFL Clubs, it ought to allocate those funds to partly compensate the suffering residents of Brooklands Green estate who live under a Casey council provided methane gas mushroom cloud.
He has told the local press that this deal is a demonstration of a “failure of leadership” by the council’s CEO and mayor.
Discussions with MFC have been drawn out over many months.Â They are in a state of flux at the moment.
MFC has expressed a very strong keenness to locate at Casey Fields, but is now concerned about the deliverability into future years of the Community Partnership it previously proposed to Council.
This situation has developed in just the last week, and was quite a surprise given that the program was initially proposed by MFC.
Discussions yesterday with MFC representatives concluded with their advice that the matter would be considered by the MFC Board today, but they were not hopeful.Â
I did not hear from any MFC representatives today.
Should any fruitful discussions be re-established, I will let you know.
Chief Executive Officer
Little wonder the community thinks councillors who support boss Mike Tyler like Steve Beardon is a goose.