Geelong coach Chris Scott has proposed that an industry-wide bye during the mid-season would be the best way to ensure fixture equality amid the current "mess" in 2024.

The Cats, along with nine other clubs, were forced to watch Opening Round as spectators given their campaign didn't start until a week later.

The AFL's new initiative - despite assisting in growing the game in the northern states - has created disorder in the scheduling which has seen some clubs given two weekends off before others have had one.

Geelong is one of those. Scott's men had their bye in Round 13, whilst clubs like Brisbane, Sydney and GWS already had two weeks off by that stage.

It's caused the 2022 premiership coach to think outside the scope for an equitable solution, leaning on the likes of international competitions such as several European soccer leagues that shut down during the pits of winter.

“There has been a lot of discussion around how the competition could evolve. I think one of those things that is generally on the table is an industry shutdown throughout the middle of the year,” Scott told reporters on Thursday.

“The best holidays are when everyone is away. When footy is still going, you can't be completely switched off from it all.

“I love the idea of talking about these things. I think everyone who has looked at it logically would come to the conclusion that this year has been a bit of a mess, so it will be different next year, there is no doubt about that.

“I think in principle, I am supportive of it [industry shutdown]. The reason the Christmas break is the best is because everyone is off. You can take a break in November but it's not the same because stuff is still going on.”

Sydney coach John Longmire conceded last week that the league should look into the bye "disparity" as an area of improvement going forward.


Scott's Cats return to the MCG for their Round 15 clash with Carlton with a top-four spot up for grabs.