All bets are off as the AFL strive to deliver the best possible product for the 2020 AFL season.
The coronavirus has forced the AFL into hiatus with only one round of football being played. With no real end in sight for the virus and more restrictions being introduced by the week, the AFL are tabling any and all ideas for completion of the 2020 season.
Arguably the most radical of the ideas being suggested is that the 2020 Grand Final being be played on Christmas Day at Marvel Stadium.
The AFL own Marvel Stadium and could use the venue if their first choice of the MCG is unavailable.
The AFL and AFLPA have come to an agreement to slash players wages by up to 70 per cent allowing the competition to run into December if need be.
“We will do whatever we need as long as we’re prioritising the health and safety of our players and the community,” McLachlan told Fox Footy when asked about the possibility of playing the grand final either side of Christmas.
“As long as we’re leading the right way and in sync with where the government wants us to be – and where the community expects us to be – we will do whatever we need to do after that to get a season away.”
The Christmas day possibility has arisen due to cricket gaining access to the MCG late October for the Twenty20 World Cup.
That only leaves a two week window in October for an AFL Grand Final. The AFL plan on fitting in the remaining 16 rounds by any means necessary – one idea is to play games mid-week to allow games to fit in.
“We’re in an incredibly uncertain time, to state the obvious,” McLachlan said.
“That’s our priority (to play at the MCG) but if we can’t then we’ll do whatever we need to to get it away.
“We’ve got a playing group that I know has been given a hard time but they actually do care deeply and they’ll do what they need to do.”
McLachlan has also confirmed their will be a national draft in 2020 despite the resumption of junior and reserve leagues considered to be very unlikely.