Farce that football players need to pay gate entry

LAST weekend, the first round of the Gladstone Community competition commenced and some very exciting football was played all around.

Sadly, the most memorable moment was not the football on the pitch.

As I arrived at the Yaralla Sports Club for the opening fixture of the season, my players and I were greeted by a gate keeper whose task it was to charge a $4 entry fee.

We greeted the volunteer and made our way toward the change rooms.

Some moments later I was approached by another person and I was asked to pay the $4 entry fee.

I explained that I was the coach and that those with me were my players.

This explanation had no effect on the person demanding payment.

I was in disbelief.

I duly paid the fee and instructed my players to do likewise.

I called the Football Central Queensland zone president to register my disgust.

The stands at Yaralla were starting to fill with spectators.

It occurred to me that I could make a stand and forfeit the game in protest.

Think what a disaster that would have been, when all those in attendance would line up for a refund because there was no game on!

I would argue that the club could not enforce a gate fee, or at least could not police access, because the perimeter gates were open as is required by law for such premises.

It is one thing to charge supporters to watch their team play, but it is an absolute farce that players providing the entertainment should pay.

That is akin to having performers' line up at the box office to pay to get in.

Charging players an entry fee is poor. How does that help grow the game?

Worse still Yaralla is also charging its own players.

A squad of players, plus three staff all paying $4 each, amounts to $72 a team.

Players pay up to $400 a season to play the game and provide entertainment for others, and they are charged an entry fee.

As a spectator you get entertained by watching a game played by players.

As a player what exactly are you paying for?

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