Brown lashes out at AFL after Lions lose home grand final



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    Brisbane Lions triple-premiership player Jonathan Brown has lashed out at the Gabba curator behind the AFL Women’s grand final debacle.

    On Monday the AFL was forced to move the inaugural women’s premiership decider, between home side Brisbane and Adelaide, to Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast after the Gabba surface was ruled unsafe.

    Long-time curator Kevin Mitchell’s decision to lay new turf after an Adele concert on March 5, with an eye on preparing for an Ashes Test in November, is at the heart of the issue.

    Brown was disappointed but not surprised by the turn of events given his experience with the venue’s management over the course of his decorated playing career.

    “I lived this for 15-16 years … the AFL are second-rate citizens in Brisbane, especially when it comes to the Gabba,” Brown told Fox Footy on Monday night.

    “It’s all about the cricket. Fair dinkum, for the government heavyweights not to be able to step in in this situation … it’s like Kevin Mitchell is the be-all and end-all there.

    “It’s an absolute disgrace.

    “We’re trying to grow AFL in Queensland still and for it not to be at the Gabba is really disappointing.”

    Brown said that he had even been required to ask permission to have a kick out on the turf in the middle of football season, such was the curator’s authority.

    Lions chief executive Greg Swann was dumbfounded by the decision to resow part of the wicket area, which has also thrown some doubt over Brisbane’s men’s fixture against Essendon on April 1.

    AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan fumed at the venue’s handling of the situation, but added he had received assurances the ground would be ready for the Lions-Bombers match.

    He stopped short of accusing venue staff of sabotaging Brisbane’s bid to host the grand final at the Gabba.

    “That’s a slightly different word – I just think this wasn’t made a priority and that’s what really disappointed me,” he told Fox Footy.

    “It just feels inconceivable that we get to a situation where the ground is not available.

    “It’s very disappointing, it doesn’t make any sense to me, I don’t think anyone contemplated it wouldn’t be there … they’ve had three weeks.

    “It was either a competence or prioritisation (issue) … I think it was prioritisation – I mean, you can get a ground ready in three weeks.”

    Despite the disappointment, McLachlan said the league’s focus has quickly turned to making the clash the biggest spectacle possible.

    “We’re going to make this a great game on Saturday,” he said.

    “It will be a good crowd, we were very aggressive with the state government and I’ve been thrilled with their engagement on this from the Premier down.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2017 @ 9:07am
      Gordon P Smith said | March 21st 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

      It’s been so tempting to lay the blame at the AFL’s feet on this. Thanks for clarifying at whom our anger needs to be kindled.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 21st 2017 @ 10:23am
      Lamby said | March 21st 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      The venue is the side issue.

      The biggest own goal is hosting the AFLW GF on the AFL opening weekend rather than last weekend. No sport gets oxygen during the AFL first round. If the GF was last weekend it would be front page of the papers and have full coverage in the news on TV and get a bumper TV audience. This weekend it will be suffocated by Round 1 and get lost. Why?

      • March 21st 2017 @ 11:09am
        Seano said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

        That’s a very good point!

    • Roar Rookie

      March 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm
      josh said | March 21st 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

      What would happen if a torrential downpour occurs during a game and the centre wicket becomes mud?

      Stop the game?

      This is known risks vs. unknown.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 1:07pm
      Perry Bridge said | March 21st 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

      Contrast the headline “Brown lashes out at AFL after Lions lose home grand final” with the article.

      Brown does NOT lash out at AFL. He lashes out at the Gabba/curator.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 3:22pm
      craig said | March 21st 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

      Yeah, lets all attack Kevin Mitchell jr for his outrageous decisions in regards to protecting and preparing a good quality field for the use of “THE AFL” first up for the season and then the cricket in coming summer. Such a shame that some will have to make that grueling 40 minute trip down the highway to the Coast, poor things.

      Greg Swann who referred to Mitchell as “the bloke who cuts the grass” as quoted in other news sources, to you I say this. Kevin Mitchell jr is doing his job and is doing it well. How have you and your AFL team been going for the last ten years sir?

      This character assassination and whinging from all in the AFL ranks in regards to this non issue is pathetic.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 11:35pm
        Alicesprings said | March 21st 2017 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

        If you can’t grow grass in 3 weeks in QLD theres something wrong, amateur hour, especially if they can do it in Melbourne in 1 week (the turn around from the same concert).

        Gotta remember this is all in the context of the Brisbane Lions negotiating an improved deal with Stadiums Queensland. This will no doubt help the Lions position, even more so if the round 2 game doesn’t go ahead. The AFL/Lions will be compensated with if that eventuates.

        Plus there is the move to have a drop in pitch which has been slowly progressing for a few years now. After this week we’re another couple steps closer. Especially as the government wants more events at the GABBA. The economics will make it happen.

    • March 21st 2017 @ 4:23pm
      SmithHatesMaxwell said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

      I wouldn’t have any idea that an AFLW Grand Final was even being held this weekend if not for the vitriol heaped upon the Gabba by the AFL and its sycophantic media plants.

      All a smokescreen. The AFL was predicting 30k people would attend the Gabba for the GF.

      Give me a break. The highest crowd so far has been 5.5k (in a ground with a 3k capacity no less…). Looked more like 1.5k in the ground, but no matter.

      Would have been 5k people at the Gabba for the Grand Final. The curator has allowed the AFL to save face and play it on the Gold Coast. When no-one turns up, they can blame the fact it wasn’t at the Gabba. Would have got 30k at the Gabba they’ll say…

      Round 1 of the AFL, the Ashes, and an Adele concert are/were far bigger priorities than an amateur grade Grand Final that the Gabba will likely lose money hosting.

      The AFL should have bought exclusive use of the Gabba for the past month so no concerts would be held, and in the slim event that Brisbane finished on top they would be able to host the amateur Grand Final.

      • March 21st 2017 @ 4:44pm
        Casper said | March 21st 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

        So you reckon you had no idea that the AFLW grand final was on this weekend, but yet you know about all the previous Lions attendances. Seems like you are another one that acts like you hate the game, but can’t stop watching it.

        • March 21st 2017 @ 5:03pm
          SmithHatesMaxwell said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

          Only because someone brought up the attendances yesterday when I was discussing this. I searched for some video and yes the attendances do seem overstated to say the least.

          • Roar Guru

            March 21st 2017 @ 5:13pm
            TomC said | March 21st 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

            SHM Makes up stats.

            SHM accuses AFL of making up stats. The evidence for this is that SHM wants the attendances to be lower.

            SHM states that AFL would have made up stats. The evidence for this is that SHM wants the AFL to have made up stats.

            Surely there’s a point where it’s just too embarrassing for the anti-AFLW crowd to continue. Surely at some stage they read each others comments (assuming they’re not all in fact the same person with multiple aliases) and cringe.