One-sided games will soon end: AFL chief

By Rob Forsaith,

15 Have your say

    AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou is confident his league will return to a state of competitive balance in one or two years after the introduction of 18th side Greater Western Sydney.

    The AFL uses the draft, salary cap and revenue sharing as explicit measures in an effort to create an equal playing field among its clubs and generate maximum interest, and revenue, from fans.

    And despite a $220 million investment in GWS and Gold Coast that has significantly altered the equalisation measures, the league’s newest clubs won’t be anywhere near a level playing field when they compete against the likes of Collingwood and Hawthorn in 2012.

    Demetriou admits another season of one-sided results – as was the case last year – will hurt the AFL but suggests it won’t be a long-term trend.

    “There’s a gap and we shouldn’t deny there will be a gap. There’ll be a gap for the first one or two years,” Demetriou said at NSW Parliament House on Wednesday.

    “But you’ll see a correction in three years when these lads are two years older. They’re more experienced.

    “They’ll be a very strong team but, in the meantime, we’re going to endure a bit of pain.

    “But we expect that. We’re not delusional, we understand that there’ll be some large margins but, along the way, they’ll surprise a couple of people.”

    Demetriou also praised the introduction of a substitute as a measure to keep the game even and fair.

    “We all know that the ‘three and one’ has been a success – not just on the injury front but it’s been a success because it’s made the competition fairer,” he said.

    “A player can go down early, as happened in the grand final, and it’s still three against three (on the bench).

    “We’ll see what happens in the future but, so far, so good.”

    Demetriou was flanked by a host of Swans and Giants players in a reception hosted by Barry O’Farrell where the NSW Premier was presented with a split jersey – with half of each club’s playing strip.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • March 7th 2012 @ 5:06pm
      Norm said | March 7th 2012 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

      Rob, a correction. The AFL is not “his league”. Demetriou may be a damm good CEO, but even he would say the AFL belongs to the members & supporters!

    • March 7th 2012 @ 5:13pm
      Pope Paul VII said | March 7th 2012 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

      Oh bugger that. Who doesn’t love the odd 100 point massacre? The goalfests and screamers have been refreshing.

    • March 7th 2012 @ 5:31pm
      Nathan of Perth said | March 7th 2012 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

      As long as I can watch the Eagles triple the Doggies scores again this year, I’ll be okay with it.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2012 @ 5:39pm
      The Cattery said | March 7th 2012 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

      As long as it’s my team handing out the thrashing, I don’t mind blow outs.

    • March 7th 2012 @ 7:46pm
      Swampy said | March 7th 2012 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

      A funny thing happened last year in my pilgrimage to the AFL Mecca. Living in RL land, I try to make one or two journeys a season to immerse myself in AFL culture in Melbourne.

      Last year I met up with my brother (who made his pilgrimage from further south) in Melbourne for a footy feast.

      He likes black and white birds and I like red and black war machines.

      We identified an appropriate weekend on the calendar where both had decent matchups in the Hawks & the Cats respectively. At the time of booking both clubs were off to a flyer.

      Sadly by the time the big weekend came around my beloved Bombers were on a horrible losing streak which included losses to some bad teams. The Pies, Cats & Hawks however were putting their claims forward for premiership contenders.

      As I flew down I was wishing that the damage inflicted by Geelong only be superficial and in all honesty I was looking much more forward to seeing the clash on Sunday btw the Pies and the Hawks – which was shaping up as a real belter.

      Well, as many a fan will tell you, footy is a funny game. I roared my lungs out at Docklands as the Dons held on for all their weakened might against Geelong in one of the best games I’ve ever watched in my life.

      And on Sunday it was a real belter…

      Collingwood handed out one anyway in one of the most uncompetitive matches I’ve ever witnessed.

      Even though Essendon eventually made the finals just, that one game was enough for me to be satisfied for the whole season.

      The point is, even if your team is belted from pillar to post, there will probably be a moment somewhere along the way where you can hang your hat and say ‘what a great win that was’ and look forward to next year.

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      • Roar Guru

        March 7th 2012 @ 8:02pm
        The Cattery said | March 7th 2012 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

        Good story.

        Some of my best footy memories have been seeing my team pull an ulikely win out of the bag in a season that delivered little else.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2012 @ 8:04pm
      Lachlan said | March 7th 2012 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

      There’s no doubt that these new teams will be very good teams in 5 or 6 years but meanwhile other teams are enjoying beating them all over the park, they’ll soon dread the fact they have to face either one of these two teams.

      My guess is once it all evens out and has been fairly even for a few years, we’ll be looking at expansion and more overseas games and hence, we’ll be back to square one.

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