West Coast were hoping to play North Melbourne in Perth in the AFL’s final round but their bid to buy the hosting rights for that match is set to be denied.
West Coast’s bid to move its final-round clash with North Melbourne to Perth’s Optus Stadium is set to be rejected by the AFL.
North Melbourne were keen to sell their hosting rights for the game, and the Eagles were more than happy with the potential deal given they are a perfect 7-0 at Optus Stadium this year.
But the bid is set to be rejected, along with Fremantle’s hopes of playing the Bulldogs in Perth in the final round.
West Coast have been in the hottest of form in Perth this season, and another game at home would have given them a major advantage in the battle for a top-four berth.
The Eagles (9-4) currently sit in fifth spot, but they have a game in hand on most of the teams above them.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said it was a tricky decision for the cash-strapped AFL, who would need to weigh up the financial benefits against perceived unfair advantages.
“It’s a real dilemma for the game. The game needs money, these clubs need money,” Clarkson said earlier in the day before a decision had been announced.
“When a (team like) North does have an opportunity to earn some money out of a game because they’ve been deprived of that through the season, then who can question that.
“But for the teams that are competing with West Coast in terms of a finals position, I think they might be a bit aggrieved. So it’s a real difficult one for the league.”