BULLIOH is set to explore its merger options after its appeal to join the Tallangatta and District league was dismissed by the AFL NEB.
"We are very disappointed with the decision handed down by the appeals board," Bullioh said in a statement.
"We are very proud of the submission we put forward and the club's current position.
"We were very aware of the difficulties faced trying to transfer to the TDFL and we have been very proactive in engaging the AFL North East and have followed all advice given and explored all options to this point."
Since reforming in 2000 Bullioh has been one of the most successful clubs in the district both on and off the field.
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The Bulldogs, who went back-to-back this season, have claimed seven flags over the past two decades. Financially, the club is also one of the most viable in the North East.
Bullioh was looking to switch leagues after concerns about the future of the Upper Murray Football Netball League.
The Bulldogs have held preliminary discussions with Wodonga Saints about a possible merger but, as it stands, the clubs are a long way apart. Tallangatta is the Bulldogs' closest neighbour but it remains unclear whether the Hoppers would consider joining forces.
"This result has left the club puzzled as with so many country football clubs struggling," the statement said. "We find it staggering that a club in our position now faces an uncertain future.
"We have demonstrated over a long period of time a winning culture, strong community connections and most importantly we are very financially sustainable.
"We question why we would not be encouraged to continue to build on our success?
However, they were vehemently denied entry by the Tallangatta league clubs in a 20-1 vote which led to the Bulldogs' appeal.
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"THE AFL NEB Commission considered both the Bullioh appeal submission and the TDFL's opposition to the transfer during the appeal process and have dismissed the appeal," AFL NEB General Manager John O'Donohue said.
"Bullioh have been proactive in seeking a transfer of leagues given a level of uncertainty has surrounded the UMFNL
"But there are many regional factors which require consideration which the commission took into account."
Under league constitution Bullioh is unable to reapply for entry into the TDFL for two years.
If the Bulldogs don't want to remain in the UMFNL a merger is the most logical option.
AFL NEB have consulted extensively with UMFNL clubs during the 2019 season.
Clubs have been encouraged to explore all options including transfer applications and the proposition of club mergers.
Bullioh informed members of its failed attempt to switch leagues on Thursday.
Meanwhile the AFL NEB has released which clubs will receive additional player points for next season.
Corowa-Rutherglen (8), North Albury (6), Wodonga Bulldogs (6) and Wangaratta Rovers (2) were awarded extra points in the O&M.
Wodonga Saints (6) were the sole club to receive additional points in the TDFL.
Border-Walwa endured a winless season and were granted three extra points.