SCORESBY Village traders are angry over a Knox Council decision to increase the number of football matches played at Scoresby this year, saying the move could leave them tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.
It comes after the decision to redevelop the Rowville Hawks home ground, which is out of commission for this season.
The council's solution is to tell the Hawks they must play six of their home games at Scoresby while their ground is redeveloped.
Traders, however, say Scoresby's home games are already crushing their businesses. Discount Meat Outlet manager Wes Millar said cars belonging to players and spectators filled the Scoresby Village car park on game days, leaving no spaces for the customers.
Mr Millar said his takings were $2000 less on game days and customer numbers decreased from an average of almost 150 each Saturday to less than 80. He said the council had not given traders a second thought.
"I am just dumbfounded the council could make a decision without consulting anyone and not even having been here on a Saturday during footy season to see what it's like."
Customers have told Mr Millar that when they see the car park is full on a Saturday afternoon, they drive on and shop at Knox City or Stud Park. "Midday until three is my busiest period, but come 12 o'clock you can't get a park. I am fortunate that I am open seven days a week, so loyal customers will come on a Sunday. But it spoils their shopping experience."
Cr Nicole Seymour met several business owners — who are now reviving their traders' association — in the shopping precinct and said the situation was urgent for them.
"It's not the football club that has caused the problem, they're under pressure because many of the traders are sponsors," Cr Seymour said.
Parking limits in the village are seen as a last resort, and the football club has been encouraged to talk to its players and fans about where to park.
Mr Millar said Rowville was one of the stronger clubs in the area, which made the potential numbers of fans an even bigger concern for traders. "They park here for convenience — my solution would be to not have every single game here for Rowville and Scoresby."
Scoresby Football Club president Mick Anderson did not respond to several phone calls from the Weekly.
There are no parking limits in the privately owned car park and traders are against any limits.
However in a statement to the Weekly, the council's chief executive Graeme Emonson said the council would work with the car park's operators to enforce parking controls on certain days and times.