Hume City FC President Steve Kaya has split ranks with rival NPL clubs fighting Football Victoria's return to match action – and questioned the agenda of the rebel clubs opposing it.
“But to me, everybody: have they done their homework properly? Have they consulted their players? Because this game is not just about presidents; it takes players, it takes a lot of volunteers, it takes a lot of work to put on an hour-and-a-half-game on the weekend. Have all of these people been consulted to see how they feel?
“I know how I’d feel if I put 10 years in a club as a volunteer, as a supporter and then all of a sudden, my club doesn’t want to play. Why? This is what gets me. If you genuinely cannot play, ok, what can you do? But we [Hume] can play.”
Kaya told FTBL that he left last Thursday’s meeting between clubs and FV early in frustration over negotiations he didn’t believe were being conducted in good faith, disagreeing with the assertions of other clubs and stating the conversations devolved into a “shit fight”, “bullshit” and having “absolutely no foundations at all.”
The Hume president, whose club is based out of ABD Stadium in the north-west Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows, also had his own issues surrounding claims of the viability or non-viability of a 2020 season.
He says he is dissatisfied with clubs' inability to play without live crowds, their unwillingness to find a solution, and questioning whether there were motives beyond financial hardship at play.
“It’s safe to say that every club will suffer some sort of financial disadvantage from what goes on,” he said. “I get it.
“But you know what, the thing that I’m looking at, the first 100 people through the gate, that covers the rest anyway. You’re talking about a bar and a canteen, nobody knows that in four weeks that’s not going to be possible.
“None of the clubs have been able to demonstrate as to what their losses are other than verbal. Verbal, I can say too that I’m losing a million dollars if I put on a game so therefore, I don’t want to play.
"And yet some of the clubs, I put myself in their shoes and I say ok, why don’t you want to play? And yes, the reason they don’t want to play is a lot greyer than the financial disadvantage.
“I’ve copped everything we can cop, I mean, this thing will probably… if anything I’m probably the most effected because my club, if you look at Hume, our club is open seven nights a week.
"We train from 5pm until 10.30 every night. There is a restaurant, people have a drink – we’re licensed – and all the rest of it.
“Yet the clubs that are proposing not to play, they don’t even have toilets on the training days for the parents to go to the toilet, they have to go to McDonald’s to use the toilet.
"This is the clubs we’re talking about. So, if there is anybody that is losing when you look at it, it’s Hume – not anybody else.
“You need to consult your players to see what they think, consult your members to see what they think, the supporters that follow you everywhere – in the mud, the hail and the rain – consult them to see what they think.
"They want to see their team on the pitch, they do not care about politics and they do not care about financials either.
“If the dog wags the tail, there will be a season. If they allow the tail to wag the dog it remains to be seen. But, to me, that’s easy to fix.