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View Poll Results: What will you do about your membership

Voters
29. You may not vote on this poll
  • Let it ride - the club can keep it

    25 86.21%
  • WAit for the Club Options and then decide

    4 13.79%
  • I need the funds - ask for my money back

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

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    AFL clubs hope to be able to give their members a range of options to consider in the next fortnight as they scramble to make suitable arrangements for supporters in an interrupted season.

    Club CEOs including Carlton's Cain Liddle and Richmond's Brendon Gale have been working together to create a uniform position across the 18 clubs with the clubs agreeing early in the piece that it would be not help anyone if wealthier clubs used their financial position to make offers to members that other clubs couldn't match.

    The working group is understood to be considering offering members options such as credits on future memberships, converting memberships into tax deductible donations, as well as offering refunds where needed although nothing has been finalised as yet.

    With the game suspended until at least May 31 (although few expect it to return that early) and a new fixture to be developed if the season does get underway, significant uncertainty remains as to what lies ahead with AFL CEO Gill McLachlan saying he is prepared for the season to extend until the end of the year to ensure the remaining 144 games plus finals are played.

    Geelong CEO Brian Cook told a KRock podcast that the Cats had been overwhelmed with support from members as the industry dealt with the myriad of decisions required after the game was cancelled due to government restrictions in place to control the spread of the coronavirus.

    "Weve been working towards a common strategy for all clubs, and it will involve, eventually, several options for their members to consider," Cook said.

    Cook expected club members would have about five options to consider once clubs and the AFL had approved the approach with the veteran CEO also anticipating it would need the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's tick of approval.

    "Im expecting [in] about a week or so, well be able to go out to members and say, 'Look, here is our offer'," Cook said.

    The AFL said at their season launch that one in 24 Australians are members of clubs. The range of membership options provided by clubs are enormous, ranging from three-game memberships to digital memberships, season ticket holders, reserve seats, season ticket holders and corporate packages or social club memberships.

    Membership has been one of the game's biggest growth areas with club bosses describing members as the "lifeblood" of clubs before the coronavirus crisis.

    Club officials have been heartened by the response of members with more people happy to leave their money with the club at this stage than wanting refunds. All clubs have had people buy memberships since the season cancelled too.

    However they are also conscious there are many people, like clubs, who have suddenly been hit with significant financial troubles as jobs disappear so they are attempting to work out a suitable solution.

    It's unclear at this stage what approach will be taken with AFL members.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  3. #2
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    Can understand if those doing it tough requested a refund, personally, I'd never consider it.

    Hopefully the clubs can put together a really attractive option that keeps the money within club coffers AND provides value for members.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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  5. #3
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    They should do what politicians and political parties do for real money. Sell access.

    "Fight Back 2". After all this, every member who stays on get to use their membership card for entrance into the Western Oval and the club gets as many past players and past coaches and all current players to give access to the members. Well known members (Merv, Hemsworth etc asked to come along). Half day event festival feel. Some music by our big name Bulldogs music folks. Like Fightback, all the people packing out the WO are there having put money into the club when it really needed us. Entrance by membership only, even its its a scaled back membership (ie someone with a 11 game membership could drop down to a 3 game membership, having returned the balance of cash to them and still get in to FB2, and the value of a three game membership staying with the club which is better than nothing). And social club members that stay on still get their end of year event should they keep their social club membership.

  6. #4
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    I'm in a position where I don't need to ask for money back or credit for next year. I totally understand people who will not be and therefore need this sort of offer ... no judgement from me; I get it.
    WOOF Member 422

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  8. #5
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    The "tax deductable donation" option is an interesting development.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

  9. #6
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    The "tax deductable donation" option is an interesting development.
    I'm not quite sure what their angle is with this. Clubs are not for profit, however they are not deductible gift recipients to my knowledge.

    The club will get my money regardless, if I can claim a tax deduction for it that's a bonus.

  10. #7
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    Didn't players about 20 years ago, to keep us a float, donate their wages back to our foundation to get the deduction and the club balance things out?

  11. #8
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    Didn't players about 20 years ago, to keep us a float, donate their wages back to our foundation to get the deduction and the club balance things out?
    It's why Nathan Brown left.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  12. #9
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    I love that movie "Let it ride".

  13. #10
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    I have an AFL membership with Bulldogs Club Support, and I would be interested to see what refunds are available from that.

    I would prefer to reinvest whatever I can get back from the AFL, directly into the Bulldogs.

  14. #11
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    The club is really poor at promoting this to the general membership (there is no link to it on the club's website) but anyone can make a tax deductible donation to the club through the Australian Sports Foundation. I'm not sure they can convert paid memberships but maybe there is a way for a refund to be made and an automatic donation from members who consent.

    A number of years back I made donation and received a letter from the club stating that it had been used on GPS equipment for the players.

    https://asf.org.au/projects/western-bulldogs/

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  16. #12
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight


  17. #13
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    It's obviously different for everyone and we should all do what is right for us but the club won't get a request for a refund from me.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do

  18. #14
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Imperial View Post
    The club is really poor at promoting this to the general membership (there is no link to it on the club's website) but anyone can make a tax deductible donation to the club through the Australian Sports Foundation. I'm not sure they can convert paid memberships but maybe there is a way for a refund to be made and an automatic donation from members who consent.

    A number of years back I made donation and received a letter from the club stating that it had been used on GPS equipment for the players.

    https://asf.org.au/projects/western-bulldogs/
    Quote Originally Posted by bulldogtragic View Post
    http://www.abn.business.gov.au/ABN/View?abn=26160537459

    Registered to receive tax-deductible donations.

  19. #15
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    Re: AFL clubs hope to have membership options within a fortnight

    So - here's what our membership debit provider sent us on Tuesday:
    ==================================================
    The government announced on 22 March 2020 that many industries are no longer allowed to operate, including gyms, health studios and related fitness activities. Since that time we have noticed that debits are still being submitted and/or processed on behalf of your business and therefore, you may be at an increased risk of breaching Australian Competition and Consumer (ACCC) regulations around fees for no service.

    As we have processed a debit on your behalf on or after Monday 23 March, 2020, we have now suspended your direct debits and placed your account on settlement hold.

    In order to have the suspension and blocks removed, you will need to provide more detail on these debits, specifically around how you have changed your business model as a result of the government restrictions. If you do not provide this information, we are unable to release the funds which will be held until further notice and used to provide refunds to customers (if required).
    ====================================================

    Now, before everyone accuses me of being a leech, BEFORE the announcement that we had to close, we sent all of our members a letter that said this:

    ======================
    ...
    Whilst it (the gym - this was part of a longer message!) is closed we will be taking the following actions:

    1/. Freezing everyone’s membership (so you don’t need to take action for this to happen).
    2/. Continuing to provide the FREE ‘At Home’ training series (that we have been providing everyone for the last two weeks.
    3/. Offering personalised at home sessions to those who request it for the cost of $25 per week (more details coming later this week).

    In the immediate term (which will continue as long as we are permitted) the gym will remain open and all sessions will continue to operate as per the time-table. The post-session disinfecting routine has been embraced by the gym community and for that I thank you guys – certainly I myself (and my entire family for that matter) have been in the gym training every day and have felt confident doing so. The efforts everyone has been putting in has gone a long way towards making me – and of course, those people training alongside you – feel comfortable and confident in showing up each day. Honestly, numbers in the gym have been great and I have been very grateful for everyone’s continuing support.

    Now – there have been a number of people who have reached out to me (either directly, via email or via social) offering to continue to pay their membership fees in the event the gym is forced to close. I really do appreciate this – it is an incredibly generous offer – and, to be honest, it is one that will go a long way towards ensuring that the gym is still alive and kicking when our lives (eventually) return to normal. If you fit into this category (and I thank you if you are) then please cut and paste the following (thanks to our amazing member Blair who supplied me with the the ‘shell’ of this text) and send it back to me at ‘mpratt@round1fitness.com.au’:

    “I really value the gym and I wanted you to know that given the uncertainty moving forward you will continue to have my support on a financial basis. I would like to commit to pay my gym membership fees even if the gym is closed.”

    Now that I’ve said that – and it wasn’t really all that easy to write – I want to make a couple of other comments.

    Firstly, no-one is under ANY OBLIGATION to do this – I will be freezing memberships by DEFAULT. I can’t pretend to understand everyones personal financial circumstances but regardless of that I 100% understand the sentiment where you don’t want to pay for a service that you cannot utilise. And yes, I will continue to make available the free at home workouts to everyone whether they are paying membership fees or not.

    Secondly, if you do make the offer to continue making membership payments, but then later realise that the closure has been going on longer than you anticipated OR your circumstances change such that you can no longer afford to make payments, well, no sweat. Just let me know and I will IMMEDIATELY freeze your account.
    ============================================

    Now - DESPITE this - despite working almost 36 hours straight to get all of this sorted out for people - the ACCC ***STILL*** ordered our accounts suspended and we had to PROVE TO THEM we had been given permission to continue to take funds. Which we did, and the suspension was lifted yesterday and now I can pay my staff this week.

    The footy club should 100% be doing this. People should be 'OPT OUT' by default - but be given a very clear option to opt in. If you want to throw those who opt in a couple of extra bones (we certainly are), then great. But the club (clubs!) are not delivering the service that people are paying for. It isn't their fault, but they aren't delivering it. They shouldn't be taking membership fees without asking if it is still ok to do so.

    Sorry everyone - like it or not the footy club is currently in violation of Australian Consumer law and they need to sort it out....

    Personally, I would opt in because I want to help the club but I am getting pretty annoyed at not being asked if I want too.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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