So with the AFL closing its doors until at least May 31, we will soon begin to hear from the clubs that won’t make it through this crisis.
The AFL is looking to take a line of credit out against Marvel Stadium. This will allow it to keep the league on life support until it restarts.
However, should the crisis drag on, there is a strong chance we have seen then end of at least a few AFL clubs.
The Suns have been on life support for their entire existence and without a network of loyal supporters this would be the first club on the chopping block.
The other expansion club, granted, has been more successful than Gold Coast. But they are still reliant on the AFL for subsidies, and with no history, they are a candidate to fall. It would be tough for the AFL to justify keeping them if more traditional clubs fold.
Tough financial times are almost the norm for the Kangas so I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it out the other side. However, as one of the weaker clubs, a merger or fold may be on the cards.
They are a success-starved club without a strong balance sheet. How many supporters would give up the annual September holiday to keep the club afloat?
Success in 2016 is not that long ago but they would also have to be a candidate to fold or merge.
They were financially strained in the past. They might be in the clear now but memories of empty stadiums before the virus still linger.
So they are the six clubs that could go to the wall because of this virus, leaving us with a 12-team competition. The positives of this would mean a stronger competition and an even draw.
It also would leave the second-tier competitions as much stronger competitions. Another potential outcome is that the draft age is raised by one or two years, further strengthening the second-tier competitions.
There is still lots of water to go under the bridge until this is over but it will be a whole new world after this.