Wizard Cup slug has club members in a frenzy

Thursday, February 20
Geelong Advertiser _ Scott Morton

ANGRY footy club members shortchanged on Wizard Cup admission can gain free entry if they buy an AFL record from their local newsagency.

The Wizard Cup footy record edition, on sale in newsagents for $5.50, includes one free admission coupon.

But you'll have to be quick. Only those copies on sale at newsagents have the free admission. Copies set for sale at the ground won't, the AFL said.

Gary Flowers, from South Geelong newsagency, said the newsagent copies were hot property and he had already sold out.

``Everyone's chasing them,'' he said.

``I've sold quite a few today. I've got them at a couple of sub-agents. APCO Service station still had three on the counter when I saw them this morning so if people look around they might find one in a sub-agent, at least in the South Geelong area.''

Traditionally club members were given one free admission to the pre-season competition but the AFL this year declared, member or not, the cost of entry would be $14.

The move angered clubs and infuriated paid-up members, with the Geelong Football Club flooded with complaints.

Chief executive Brian Cook said the club had been fielding calls all week.

``It's kept our membership division busy,'' he said.

Club membership manager Ben Kavanagh said he had his fingers crossed that the AFL's decision to slug everyone $14 for entry wouldn't put a major dent in the club's membership drive.

``I think it will have an impact but I hope it's not a major one,'' he said.

``They've been used to getting some extra value out of their membership during the Wizard Cup and that's not going to occur this year, unfortunately.

``The big indicator will come on Sunday when we might be able to compare this year's membership signings to the same day last year.''

Elaine Munro, from the East Geelong newsagency, said her business received 33 copies of the record in the middle of the month and had just five copies left yesterday afternoon.

The Cats have signed up 11,000 members, which is on track with last year.

Geelong plays the Western Bulldogs this Sunday at Skilled Stadium with the match scheduled to start at 2.40pm.