NNSW NPL: Broadmeadow lodge complaint against Edgeworth as feud continues

BROADMEADOW Magic have alleged intimidating behaviour from an Edgeworth official towards one of their players as part of a complaint to Northern NSW Football over their round-one match at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Fans at last year's Broadmeadow-Edgeworth NPL grand final at Magic Park.

Fans at last year's Broadmeadow-Edgeworth NPL grand final at Magic Park.

Edgeworth drew 1-1 with Magic in the NNSW National Premier League season opener on March 10 but the game was marred by simmering tensions between the clubs and a streaker.

Edgeworth lodged a formal complaint about Broadmeadow’s handling of its crowd when the Eagles won the 2016 decider 2-1 at Magic Park. A post-match incident between players at a pub was also part of the submission.

Broadmeadow submitted their complaint last week about the March 10 game and club president Steve Foteff said it included an allegation an on-field Eagles official blocked the players’ race after the match while an Edgeworth sponsor verbally abused a Magic player.

“What’s worrying for us this time is that their behaviour is threatening towards our players,” Foteff said.

The complaint also included the streaker, who evaded security – paid for by Edgeworth – to run across the field and scale a fence before putting his clothes back on and re-entering the ground. 

“At the end of the day that behaviour wasn’t checked,” Foteff said. “You could see it was brewing, the kid was there to cause trouble. He was blowing a trumpet, drinking and it was getting out of hand and no one did anything about it. Their matchday responsibilities were well below par.”

Edgeworth administrator Warren Mills said security were employed until 30 minutes after the game, so he was shocked to hear the streaker had got back into the ground. 

As for the players’ race, Mills heard that words had been exchanged but “nothing about intimidation” and he said “it’s a non-event what they are going on about”.

“It was serious what happened last year, this is just rubbish,” he said. “If they just let it go, we’d let it go as well but they just keep going.”

Another part of the feud is a dispute over costs, believed to be for lighting, from Edgeworth’s FFA Cup match against Western Sydney Wanderers last year at Magic Park. Foteff said Edgeworth owed Magic a small amount but Mills said “there was no dispute”. Edgeworth are unable to use their ground for televised FFA Cup games because of their lighting.

“There’s no money owing and we’ll be looking at our options on where we may play any FFA Cup games this year,” Mills said.

NNSWF chief David Eland said his organisation was working through the Magic complaint and also looking into the streaking incident. He said NNSWF knew the identity of the streaker and banning him from grounds was an option.

As for the feud, Eland said: “We’re aware of or have read about what allegedly happened after last year’s grand final. It’s not within our jurisdiction to police what allegedly happens in licensed premises, but we were proactive by implementing a risk assessment for that Friday match and we spoke to both clubs to address some issues.”

“I’m not going to come to conclusions about what happened at that game, I wasn’t there, we had matchday commissioner there and we’ll be taking his report into account. We're just working through the process now.”

Eland said the risk assessment for the season opener “didn’t include contracting security”.

“But we worked through a number of issues with Edgeworth which principally looked at the responsible service of alcohol, crowd congregating behind the dugouts – more preventative measures than anything else.”

As for the streaker, he said: “We know who it is and it’s not a registered player but we will be looking at that incident in accordance with our national spectator code of conduct and the terms of admission, which were both clearly displayed at the venue.”

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