West Coast Fever's debut in Super Netball is "collateral damage" in a $15 million sponsorship saga.
The Super Netball premiers are "collateral damage" from Netball Australia's $15 million deal with Hancock Prospecting, which has caused a lot of trouble.
The West Coast Fever has become "collateral damage" in the netball sponsorship mess, which has caused Hancock Prospecting to drop its $15 million deal with Netball Australia.
Gina Rinehart's company, Hancock Prospecting, said on Saturday that it had decided to "regrettably withdraw" its proposed partnership with Netball Australia after it came out that Diamonds players were worried about wearing a uniform with Ms. Rinehart's company's logo on it.
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam, who will play for the Diamonds for the first time in the upcoming series against England, was said to feel uncomfortable wearing a uniform with the Hancock Prospecting logo on it. This brought the issue to a head.
This is said to be because of what Rinehart's father, Lang Hancock, said in the 1980s.
Hancock Prospecting also said that Roy Hill mining would stop helping Netball WA and the West Coast Fever, which won its first domestic Super Netball premiership earlier this year.
As a result of what happened with Netball Australia, West Coast Fever CEO Simone Hansen said the club was "bitterly disappointed" to lose its main sponsor Roy Hill.
"This decision only has a direct effect on our SSN club," Hansen said.
"We're just bystanders in the national situation, and we're upset that all the people who have a stake in netball couldn't agree on a single position and that this has been reported in the news," she said.
"We were committed to the partnership, and we're disappointed that things outside of our control caused the partnership to end.
"Our players do understand and agree that commercial funding is important and valuable.
"Every single one of our players liked working with Roy Hill, and they will be the ones most affected by this decision.
"The club and West Australian netball have been involved with the mining industry for a long time, and they are very thankful for the support they continue to get. Many people in West Australia, including netball families, depend on the mining industry and its related businesses to make a living.
Gideon Haigh, a sports writer, was surprised by Hancock's "gratuitous" choice to stop giving money to the Fever.
"Hancock Prospecting and Roy Hill's decision seemed to come out of nowhere," Haigh said on Sunday's episode of Offsiders on ABC.
"Especially the fact that Roy Hill pulled his sponsorship from Netball Western Australia and the West Coast Fever, two teams that had nothing to do with this controversy.
"It seemed more like an emotional outburst than a well-thought-out decision about the issues at hand."
In a statement released on Saturday, Hancock Prospecting said that it was no longer sponsoring the sport or its teams, Netball WA and the West Coast Fever.
"Hancock and Roy Hill were not told about how complicated the problems between Netball Australia and the Players Association were before they were asked to work together," the statement said.
"This includes the Players Association's efforts to get a big raise in pay at a time when the sport's finances are bad and it can't afford to give such a raise," the statement said.
"Both Hancock and Roy Hill went into these proposed partnerships in good faith and with the understanding that Netball Australia and the sport's key stakeholder groups, including the Australian Diamonds, were united in their support of one of West Australia's best mining companies becoming their main sponsor."
In a separate harsh statement, Rinehart and Hancock slammed sports teams for "virtue signaling" after their $15 million netball deal was suddenly ripped up.
The company will still provide "short-term funding" for four months while Netball Australia looks for a "alternative sponsor."
Netball Australia has a lot of debt because it has lost more than $7 million in the last two years, mostly because of the costs of Super Netball.
It recently turned down a multimillion-dollar deal from a private equity company. Netball Australia signed a deal with Hancock instead, but it is now looking for another sponsor.
The Diamonds play their fourth and final game of the Constellation Cup against New Zealand on Sunday night. To get the Constellation Cup back from the Silver Ferns, Australia has to win.