Will fans back venue move?

THE Ovens and Murray Football-Netball League is facing a potential fan backlash and financial hit if parking arrangements for the grand final at Lavington Oval cannot be resolved.

Wangaratta has declared itself ready to host the grand final if the O and M board decides on Monday night to send the decider to the Norm Minns Oval.

The O and M is awaiting advice from Albury Council as to whether traditional parking arrangements will be in place at Lavington.

The Panthers Group, which owns the majority of car parking around Lavington Oval, wants payment for use of the parking to offset rates payable to the council in the wake of the licensed club’s closure.

Yarrawonga and Albury have played in the past five grand finals at Lavington and have taken gate takings to record levels.

They hit $86,377 in 2012 before another windfall of $85,542 last season.

The Tigers and Pigeons are in contention to meet again in the grand final, as is Lavington, and playing an Albury-Lavington decider at Wangaratta would attract a backlash from supporters.

Albury-Wodonga clubs dominate the top fives of the O and M’s three football and four netball competitions with three rounds to go.

Lavington and Wangaratta are the only clubs to submit a bid to host the grand final.

Ovens and Murray general manager Aaron McGlynn said last night he hoped the situation could be resolved today.

Magpies president Col McClounan said they had put forward a solo tender to host the grand final at Norm Minns Oval, with that ground having attracted 10,000-plus crowds to AFL pre-season games in the past two years.

“The facility is there and is more than capable of holding these type of events,” he said.

“We’ve got some pretty good systems in place from the experience we’ve had over the past three years.”

He said Lavington was in the box seat given the mix of clubs competing for final berths.