MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: AFL CEO Gillon Mclachlan speaks to the media to announce the 2012 Brownlow Medal will be awarded to Trent Cotchin of the Tigers and Sam Mitchell of the Eagles during a press conference at AFL House on November 15, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Only four clubs would be able to survive without financial support if there is no 2020 AFL season, per The Age’s Caroline Wilson.

West Coast, Richmond, Hawthorn and Collingwood are the clubs said to be financially strong enough to withstand a cancelled season, while the remaining teams would require funds from the AFL.

If the competition begins in August, the Bombers, Bulldogs and “potentially” the Crows would join the list of clubs that could survive without handouts.

The report states that the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne are among the most vulnerable teams during this period, with a number of sides needing extra funds within weeks to help their cash-flow crisis.

Several clubs are believed to be “seriously questioning the future of their AFLW teams.”

It is believed that the AFL plans to turn league chief Gillon McLachlan and the AFL Commission into the competition’s banker and reportedly has a $600 million to offer clubs.

Clubs can take interest-free loans from the AFL until the end of October and will be charged 3.3 per cent interest thereafter.

The clubs were reportedly taken back after learning that they would have to cover seven-figure marketing costs for 2020 – a decision strongly questioned by Hawks president Jeff Kennett.

The AFL could opt to further slash football department spendings beyond the forecast $3 million and turn the soft cap into a hard cap.