UMPIRES are furious with the Ovens and Murray after their grand final pay-packets took a substantial hit this year.
Central umpires received about $80 less to officiate this season’s decider than they did last year.
And while the $215 they received for umpiring Yarrawonga’s win over Albury was substantially more than the paltry $95 they received in 2011, the figure was well down on the $295 they were paid last year.
Leading official Warwick Henderson, who has umpired the past six O and M senior grand finals, lashed out following the 2011 payment and two years on is still frustrated by the lack of financial support.
“I’m just over it, really,” he said.
AFL Victoria Country sets the minimum rate ($182 this year) that a major league umpire has to be paid each week and it’s up to the league to decide on any further bonuses.
Payment across the finals series did increase this year but that generosity didn’t extend to the biggest game of the season.
Lack of financial incentive has been credited as a major reason why umpire numbers have dropped to their lowest ever levels.
New umpire development manager Mark Bywater admitted it was frustrating but he was confident of working through the issue with the appropriate people.
“It’s an ongoing issue and certainly something we keep pushing for,” he said.
“Player payments seem to be going up exponentially and we need to make umpiring attractive financially.
“It’s certainly on our agenda.”
The North East Umpires board will meet with AFL Victoria Country North East Border to push for a blanket 15 per cent rise on all games.