George Orwell famously wrote about inequality in Animal Farm, but in the world of Australian Rules football the fixtures are anything but equal and are in fact pigging unfair.
Each team plays each other at least once and a fixture compiler then presumably decides which teams play each other a second time to make up a 23-match home-and-away season. The additional fixtures are decided based on the rankings of the previous season.
It seems to me as a UK follower of the sport that the cause of the inequality of the fixtures is due to the season being too short. The UK’s Premier League lasts nine months and the rugby league season is eight months long. In big old Australia the AFL campaign lasts justs six months.
Here’s an idea: why not extend the season to nine months? Everyone plays each other home and away and there would even be time for an additional bye round to give the players a week off.
While we are sorting out the fixture list let’s also sort out the rules. It’s a tough, combative sport, so stop trying to make it a non-contact competition. Free kicks are proliferating in the game. By the way, my Australian friends, free kicks are awarded or given; they aren’t paid. Money doesn’t change hands, so why use a monetary term?
And while we’re giving the AFL a good old revamp let’s freshen things up. Give other teams a turn at playing on Anzac Day instead of the same tired old participants.
Being marooned in the UK and having to rely on TV, there is one subject that grinds my gears more than any other, and that is the unacceptably amateurish attitude to kits. Can we stop having games played with teams wearing similar guernseys? The recent Geelong versus Collingwood match had one team in dark hoops and the other in dark stripes. The distant shots almost caused an epileptic episode.
At the start of each season every club should register a home kit and an away kit. Every away team must wear a guernsey with totally different colours to the home team. We are in the 21st century and it’s nonsense for clubs to rely on outdated kit traditions every game regardless of the opponent.
Australia may have won the Ashes in cricket but your own game of Australian Rules football should take the suggestions of this Brit to sort itself out.