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Million-dollar crisis uncovered as team captain blasts Netball Australia


The extent of Collingwood’s financial crisis has been revealed as club captain Geva Mentor hits out in a thinly veiled message to Netball Australia.

The Magpies are reviewing their Super Netball program and there are grave fears the team will be shut down at the end of the season.

WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Collingwood’s netball financial crisis revealed as club faces extinction.

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Netball Australia needs to maintain an eight-team competition under the current broadcast deal and CEO Kelly Ryan is already in talks with potential new franchises.

But the news of Collingwood’s potential demise has left the club’s players and staff members stunned.

“Ok everyone… time to sort your s*** out. From all netballers, clubs and staff,” captain Geva Mentor wrote to netball powerbrokers on Instagram.

The Magpies have made the finals three times since entering the competition in 2017, but have never progressed past the first week of the playoffs.

Collingwood currently sit bottom of the ladder with a 2-7 record, and their poor results have contributed to the club’s financial struggles.

7NEWS understands the Magpies are losing up to $1 million a year on its netball team and want to prioritise funding for women’s football.

Collingwood said the club’s review is about the viability of the Super Netball program and not a result of club’s on-court performance.

Collingwood are on the brink of being dumped from Super Netball by club bosses. Credit: Getty

Meanwhile, Ryan said Netball Australia will post a $300,000 profit this financial year in what represents a $4.7 million swing from their $4.4m loss in the last financial year.

This year’s Super Netball grand final will be held at Melbourne’s John Cain Arena on July 8 irrespective of which teams make the decider.

The location for this year’s decider was already locked in as part of the $15m sponsorship with Visit Victoria that came to the rescue after Gina Rinehart’s Hancock deal was pulled.

That sponsorship deal runs until 2027, but it’s unclear whether it means the grand final will be held in Melbourne every year until then.

Ryan said the preference is for another Melbourne-based side to replace Collingwood if the Magpies fold.

“This is a really big market. Netball in Victoria is immensely strong,” Ryan told SEN.

“So our natural preference from the outset is to have two teams in this market, but we want to be open to all opportunities.”

Netball Australia hopes a new Melbourne club will replace Collingwood if they fold at season’s end. (James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Ryan is confident Netball Australia will be able to swiftly replace Collingwood.

“We still have the best netball league in the world,” she said.

“So if we need to find an additional licence – because we are absolutely committed to having eight teams continue in Super Netball into the future – then we’ll get onto that process really quickly.

“I think we’ll be in a really good position. We’ve had a number of interested parties reach out across the last couple of years flagging their desires.

“And even in the last 24 hours, there’s been other people who have reached out wanting to have conversations about what the opportunity does look like.

“We are very confident that we will continue to have eight teams in the competition.”

– with AAP

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Source: 7News