AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has ruled out a three-game Grand Final series. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has ruled out a three-game Grand Final series. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour

AFL makes call on three-game Grand Final series

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has categorically ruled out a best-of-three grand final series.

The theory was given support by AFL legend Leigh Matthews as a way of increasing revenue in 2020 as the competition faces a massive financial hit during the coronavirus crisis.

But McLachlan on Wednesday night said it wasn't on the table.

"We haven't contemplated three," McLachlan told Seven News.

"One grand final is all we've thought about and we haven't thought about anything beyond that."

On Tuesday, Matthews echoed the sentiments of Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury, who threw his weight behind a best-of-three grand final series. GWS skipper Phil Davis is also open to the idea.

 

Relive classic AFL matches from the 60s to today on KAYO SPORTS. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly

 

"There's so many 'what ifs', which might happen over the next seven or eight months," Matthews told 3AW.

"I say to myself, 2020 is a survival season. How do we survive? How do we maximise revenues?

"To me, whoever ends up being premier at the end of it is less important than getting 100 (or) 140 games played.

"And if we can get more money out of a best-of-three grand final, go for it."

Dom Sheed (left) and Jeremy McGovern with the 2018 premiership cup. Picture: AAP Image/Julian Smith
Dom Sheed (left) and Jeremy McGovern with the 2018 premiership cup. Picture: AAP Image/Julian Smith

 

The grand final could be played as late as December away from the MCG, with the league to get creative if given the green light to restart the season.

An expanded 10-team finals series running over five weeks remains a possibility. The AFL was last week handed the flexibility to play games deep into December when the AFL Players' Association agreed to a new pay deal to slash wages by up to 70 per cent in response to the competition shutdown.

There will be no football before at least May 31, however McLachlan said he was "confident" the 2020 season would resume at some point.

Richmond's Trent Cotchin with the 2019 premiership cup. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Richmond's Trent Cotchin with the 2019 premiership cup. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

"There is certainly a few months before we'll be back, after that I'm not sure," he said.

"But we're confident we'll get some footy away in the back half of the year." McLachlan also dismissed suggestions of mergers or clubs relocating amid renewed talk of North Melbourne moving to Tasmania, which has been dismissed by the club.

"We're working with the clubs on securing their futures through a revised funding model," McLachlan said.

"We've been dealing with the financial situation at hand, talk of the current 18 clubs in the current structure and them coming out exactly the same at the end of this year."

 

 

Originally published as AFL makes call on three-game Grand Final series


‘Logistical nightmare’: Bowen Seagulls face uncertainty

premium_icon ‘Logistical nightmare’: Bowen Seagulls face uncertainty

Restrictions on spectators at matches and strict hygiene rules are plaguing clubs...

Flying start for the Whitsundays’ newest airlines

premium_icon Flying start for the Whitsundays’ newest airlines

Hundreds of people have secured seats to the region since the announcement was made...