Geelong Cricket Association clubs have been forced to dip into their own pockets after a delay in getting their share of $250,000 in council funding for turf wicket maintenance.
Twenty-two turf clubs have been left waiting for their allowance — about $11,400 each on average per season — with a new three-year turf funding agreement yet to pass through City of Greater Geelong.
Council allocates the GCA money for turf wicket maintenance annually, with funds paid in two instalments.
Clubs usually receive half the cash at the start of the season and the other half around Christmas to help cover weekly material and labour costs.
But no club has seen a cent this season as the agreement awaits sign-off, despite putting their hands out for the cash in August.
Council yesterday said clubs would share in more than $250,000 this season for turf wicket maintenance, pending the new agreement getting the green light at a council meeting on November 27.
City of Greater Geelong’s acting director of community life Robyn Stevens said the three-year agreement was being finalised.
“The new longer-term agreement, worth more than $750,000 over the next three years, needs to be formally adopted by council,” Stevens said.
“It also provides an option for the GCA to extend the agreement for a further three years.
“City officers have recommended that the agreement be endorsed by council at its next meeting on Tuesday, November 27.”
Stevens said council would provide 22 GCA clubs with $251,361 for turf wicket maintenance, as well as synthetic wicket cover replacement for local grounds.
McFarlane said the clubs were getting increasingly agitated about the situation.
“We just need to get it out to the clubs because we understand their situation,” McFarlane said.
“They’ve got to use their own funds and pay for fertiliser, soil and all those sort of things.
“And they don’t have the money for people who do the jobs for them.
“Rather than have the money upfront, which we should have given the first 50 per cent in August and the second 50 per cent later in the season, they have to dip into their own pockets.
“I know it’s frustrating, but we’ve got to work with them to sort it out. If we had enough money of our own, we probably would’ve subsidised it on our own, but with cricket ball purchases and the money tied up in term deposits, we just couldn’t help.”
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