AFL Commission briefed on Cousins, GC17 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Commission briefed on Cousins, GC17

By Roger Vaughan and Crystal Ja 13/10/2008 09:04:36 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's commissioners have been briefed on two matters certain to occupy plenty of their attention for the next few weeks - Ben Cousins and GC17.

Cousins will go before the commission at next month's meeting to plead his case for a return to the game, while the Gold Coast bid to become the league's 17th team has tabled a 400-page submission.

On Monday, AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson briefed the commission on the process that Cousins must follow if he wants to make a playing comeback.

GC17 chairman John Witheriff, board member Graeme Downie and development coach Guy McKenna spoke at the commission meeting about their bid to join the league.

"The AFL Commission was also updated on the process that Ben Cousins will undertake before his application to be re-registered as an AFL player is considered at the AFL commission meeting in November," the league said in a statement.

Cousins is overcoming drug addiction and the league suspended him late last year for bringing the game into disrepute.

The AFL will set strict guidelines for Cousins to follow before they let him return to playing at top level.

While the league would not give any details about Anderson's briefing, chief executive Andrew Demetriou praised the GC17 submission.

"It was a very impressive presentation and it is clear that GC17 has done an enormous amount of work over the past six months to build strong community and business support for an AFL team," Demetriou said.

"The commission will now test, analyse and validate the GC17 submission and business models and will be doing that over the coming weeks."

Witheriff said the bid had exceeded the criteria that the AFL had set.

GC17 were given six months to prove their mettle, asked to "sign up" 20,000 would-be members, 110 business sponsors as well as a major naming-rights sponsor.

"We got 43,000 (members) in the end," said Witheriff, who confirmed a total 124 business had committed to the club.

"That is what gives me the greatest level of comfort because I thought that was going to be our toughest challenge.

"But it turned out that not only did we hit the 20,000 but we hit the 40,000 and we continue to grow.

"It was exceptionally well received, but they've got to do their homework now and work out whether out assumptions are valid or otherwise.

"But we're pretty confident about that."

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