VFL CLUBS have been given a financial boost as the struggles with COVID-19 continue, with the Victorian Government handing out nearly $1 million across the competition.
Six standalone VFL clubs – Coburg, Frankston, the Northern Bullants, Williamston, Port Melbourne and Werribee – will each receive funding of $130,000 to assist their bounce back from 2020's season which was completely wiped out.
Three AFL-affiliated VFL clubs – Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons and Sandringham – have also been granted $65,000.
The VFL has entered a new era this season, with the addition of sides in New South Wales and Queensland to make it an east-coast competition.
The funding will help clubs for costs related to complying with COVIDSafe protocols as well as interstate travel required as part of the new-look League.
Games have returned to Victoria this week after several weeks without games due to Victoria's latest COVID-19 outbreak.
"These grants will help our clubs build on their legacy and recover strongly after a coronavirus wipe-out in 2020 and further disruptions this year," said the minister for tourism, sport and major events Martin Pakula.
"Supporters of VFL clubs are among the most passionate in any sport and having a strong secondary league is important on the community front as well as on any football measure."
Port Melbourne, which claimed the VFL premiership in 2017, is among the clubs to benefit from the initiative to help strengthen the code's development and pathways programs.
"We're extremely thankful for the grant – we're one of the oldest and most successful standalone clubs in the League and it means we can recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the associated loss of revenue," said Port Melbourne president Michael Shulman.
"We welcome the return to the field of our women's and men's teams and hopefully we will see crowds back at our games in the coming weeks."