Damnit, I thought we’d escaped byes in 2017…
THE VFL competition could lose its second club in little more than two months, with North Ballarat set to decide whether it continues in the state league at a board meeting on Monday night.
North Ballarat's looming board vote follows Frankston's expulsion from the VFL in late September, when the state league's governing body, AFL Victoria, terminated the Dolphins' licence after they were placed under financial administration.
North Ballarat entered the 2016 season as a standalone club after ending an eight-season partial alignment with North Melbourne that yielded three consecutive VFL premierships from 2008-10.
The Roosters finished second last this year – ahead of only Frankston – after notching just three wins.
It is understood they are now considering focusing solely on the Ballarat Football League, where they field a team, North Ballarat City, amid concerns about the mounting costs of fielding a VFL team.
North Ballarat chairwoman Jenny Bromley did not return calls when contacted about Monday night's vote, but AFL Victoria released a brief statement to AFL.com.au.
"AFL Victoria has been informed about a board meeting at the North Ballarat Football Club on Monday night, and will await the result of that meeting before making any further comment," AFL Victoria said.
If the Roosters vote to leave the VFL, the competition will be reduced from 15 to 13 teams next season.
It would also mean Eureka Stadium would be left without a VFL tenant as it nears the end of a major redevelopment ahead of the venue's first scheduled AFL game, between the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide in round 22 next season.
The Victorian State Government contributed $15 million to the stadium's redevelopment.