AFL legend Tim Watson has hit back at ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’Landys’ comments regarding the AFL’s restart attempts.
V’Landys has been the architect of the NRL’s ambitious return to action, with the AFL’s top brass slower to lock in their reset plans.
V’Landys admitted to The Sydney Morning Herald he’d at times laughed at the AFL and their attempts to navigate the COVID-19 shutdown.
“At times I’ve looked at them (the AFL) and had a giggle,” he said.
“The first thing I said to Wayne Pearce, who heads Project Apollo, is that we won’t be using ‘bubbles’. We’ll just need self-isolation — and I was right.
“Three weeks later, the AFL was still looking at bubbles. But no: I was more worried about us and making sure my predictions were the right ones.
“I said, nine weeks ago, that we could train in Victoria and Queensland — at that stage we couldn’t. I said the Warriors could come over — at that stage we couldn’t.”
But the former Essendon captain has pointed out to “push-ahead Pete” that the logistical demands of restarting a national competition like the AFL are “more complex” than the challenges the NRL faces.
“Look, I don’t want to start a war between the AFL and the NRL, but I would just like to point this out to push-ahead Pete and that is that it is a little more complex with a national game, accommodating teams from five different states as opposed to the NRL which has people in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
Demons greaty Gary Lyon then added the loss of crowd revenue isn’t as great a worry for the NRL as it is for the AFL.
“That’s alright, push-ahead Pete is on a nice wave of momentum at the moment. I don’t think they’ll miss the crowds much either by the way given not many turn up,” Lyon said.