HomeOtherMcLachlan Says AFL Is Focused On Playing Season In 2020

McLachlan Says AFL Is Focused On Playing Season In 2020

McLachlan Says AFL Is Focused On Playing Season In 2020

Speaking in a Zoom call with reporters, AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, said the AFL is focused on playing the rest of its season this year, with a decision on the AFL’s return to be announced at the end of April.

Following reports additional matched would need to be played from next season in order to help teams and the league recover from financial losses as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), McLachlan said a reduced 2020 season with more matches next year appears unlikely.

“I’ve talked about integrity,” McLachlan said.

“Our focus is on getting 144 games away.

“At the moment, we’re not looking at doing anything other than that.

“We’re not looking at shorter seasons or anything else.

“Today in mid-April, it feels possible,” he said.

“It is challenging to think of going beyond 22 rounds for a few reasons,” McLachlan said, discussing proposals to add extra fixtures onto the 2021 season.

“There is venue availability, there’s challenges around the ability of the players to cope with an extended season and we’ve got commitments and contracts with venues, broadcasters and others that are challenging to roll into different season.

“It might be possible; we’ll have a look at it.

“But instinctively, there are some structural challenges to doing that.

“But right now, there aren’t bad ideas.

“It’s incumbent upon us look at everything,” he said.

The AFL’s commander-in-chief reiterated the league’s confidence on a decision regarding a season start date by the end of April.

“We’ve been working towards making a public announcement by the end of April,” McLachlan said.

“That would contemplate having narrowed down all of the alternatives to a way that we would resume our season.

“We’ll be clear about in what form our resumption would take and I’m optimistic that it would have a return-to-training date and a season resumption date.

“That’s the intention.

“We flagged that some weeks ago and we’re still confident we can get to that position by the end of April,” he said.

McLachlan also discussed how matches will look when the season resumes play, saying the league is working with government, security experts and the right medical officers to get a considered view about the right way to proceed.

“The shorter quarters, we’ve already seen,” McLachlan said.

“Certainly, the reality is that we’ll be starting without crowds.

“That gives us flexibility with the scheduling.

“I don’t have an answer on interchange, but I know Steve Hocking is looking at it at the moment.

“The reality is that we need to be agile and flexible and we’ve said that right the way through to get this season away,” he said.

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