PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Dockers head coach Ross Lyon looks on while walking from the field during the round 18 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has returned serve after Ross Lyon’s comments on Footy Classified about the expansion club’s future.

In light of the league’s postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lyon suggested axing the struggling club and focusing on the remaining 17 teams could ease the AFL’s looming financial woes.

An impassioned Cochrane jumped to the defence of the Suns on Sportsday.

“I can’t believe how often I have to step forward and defend our young club, it’s borderline ridiculous and incredibly frustrating,” he said.

“Every single person in the world has the current problem but the only real ongoing problem we have is one of success.

“We’ve built 28 new ovals in the last five years in the Gold Coast region and it’s not enough. We’ve got junior football in both girls and boys absolutely exploding from one end of Queensland to another and that’s because the AFL commission have done 10 years of hard work and used the TV rights money to get us in that position.

“Why anybody would even consider chopping that growth just proves they’re not only a failed coach, but they don’t know much about economics either.”

Cochrane became chairman of the Suns in 2016 and has grown a reputation for fiery media performances.

Massive financial cuts loom ahead for the AFL as the competition braces for months of lost football.