Manly Sea Eagles have publicly hit back at Warringah Council after Mayor Michael Regan warned there would be consequences if the club didn’t cough up unpaid fees for the use of Brookvale Oval.
Regan has said he fears Manly is using the council as a scapegoat so they can relocate to Gosford while attempting to blame Warringah for locking the side out.
But the Sea Eagles insist they are the real victims in the bitter dispute, paying the highest fee of any NRL club using a suburban ground, for the worst facilities.
“The Sea Eagles are keen to remain at Brookvale Oval but cannot do so upon terms which are unfinancial and jeopardise the future of the Sea Eagles,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday night.
“At present, the terms offered by Warringah Council results in the Sea Eagles incurring a financial loss for the vast majority of home fixtures played at Brookvale Oval due to the exorbitant ground hire fee, the severe limitations of reserved and undercover seating areas and restricted corporate hospitality capability.”
Manly says “the council’s position is forcing the Sea Eagles out of Brookvale Oval” but at the same time Manly “are committed to playing future seasons at Brookvale Oval” given fans’ strong desire to stay at the club’s spiritual home.
Manly Mayor Jean Hay joined the dispute on Tuesday night claiming the Sea Eagles were being ripped off by Warringah Council in relation to their usage of the ground.
“Warringah Council are effectively forcing them out of the area by holding them to ransom over the usage of Brookvale Oval whilst openly favouring rival professional sporting codes usage of the same facility,” Hay said in a statement.
“I feel that Warringah Council are using the Sea Eagles as a cash cow.”