Heading into the domestic season, Netball Australia had high hopes of expanding its fan base and creating buzz for the game, but at this point, a labour dispute is roiling the waters and supplying an uncomfortable threat to well-laid league plans.
At the heart of a threat by the top players to boycott international matches, abandon their domestic clubs and create a league of their own, is a struggle for power where the players are demanding that Kathryn Harby-Williams be re-elected to one of the board positions when the state member organisations gather in Canberra for the annual general meeting.
The Australian Netball Players’ Association (ANPA) was also upset that Anne-Marie Corboy was forced out of the top job as board chair and then summarily removed from the board entirely.
The ANPA has expressed the view that Queensland and New South Wales plotted to seize power from the players and return it to the state boards, now that with the expansion of Super Netball to include three additional teams, there is more power to be wielded.
Labour discord in professional sports seldom benefits anyone, so the ANPA and the boards would be well advised to settle what seem to be minor differences, before things such as strikes and in-game protests produce a negative outcome for everyone.