THE Ovens and Murray has hit back at claims its umpires were shortchanged during this year’s finals series.
Members of the umpiring fraternity were left bewildered after central umpires received about $80 less to officiate this year’s grand final than the year previous.
But acting general manager Greg Dawson sought to clear the matter up yesterday, saying umpire payments throughout the finals series had actually been raised across the board.
“We spread it out, across the grades, because we felt that to be a fairer way,” Dawson said.
“Look, the bonus in 2012 was a one-off that was born out of a very successful year and finals series.
“Having said that, payment across all of the finals was up.”
Dawson also pointed out the rates the O and M paid were also above the standard rates set across the state.
He said the decision to spread the increase in payment was a decision made in consultation with North East Border Umpire Development Manager Mark Bywater.
Dawson said there had clearly been a breakdown in communication.
Ovens and Murray boss Aaron McGlynn is overseas on holiday but the league has flagged its intent to hold a review of the umpire payment process when he returns.
McGlynn is also a director on the North East Umpires board.
Dawson said the O and M remained committed to working with all of its umpires and thanked them for a successful season.