The AFL have argued that the big clubs get the blockbuster days because they attract the biggest crowds and put on the best performance.
Thats logical however think about the net affect to all of the other clubs?
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The big clubs get bigger because they are front and centre every week. You couldn’t afford or replicate the club promotion, marketing or advertising fee.
Kids will not support teams that are not on TV and not promoted into blockbuster days by the AFL. Thats equally a logical fact.
Are the AFL acting purely on behalf of broadcaster requests?
Are they doing a poor job on selling ALL clubs to potential broadcast companies?
If you logically continue down the current pathway the big clubs will continue to grow and develop which is already evidenced by their healthy and improving balance sheets and the “ignored” clubs will continue to struggle to balance the books. The AFL will continue to orchestrate ways to seemingly (but not actually) equalise the competition.
I really struggle with “equalisation” strategies being a part of a “competition” – those two words cannot live together.
So in a nutshell the AFL thinks this way; We will maximise attendances by matching up teams to play certain events and we will appease the ignored clubs by other means.
This may appear to end up as “roughly” the same end result financially but the greatest error in this judgement is there is zero consideration for ongoing brand development, marketing, sponsorship and advertising – let alone trying to attract generations to follow your team.
The AFL need to take a hard line on this issue, bite the bullet and produce a fixture that talks to the competition’s fairness and equality rather than equalising the mistakes after the fact.
There are few certainties in life and AFL. One thing I am certain of is this;
If you do not provide clubs with an equal chance to be represented on the biggest time-slots they will never be afforded the same benefits as those involved and the self-fulfilling prophecy currently employed will crack open the competition.
I understand AFL executives are paid bonuses on attendances and growth but the orchestrated manner it has been manipulated up to recent times is unsustainable. I also appreciate the courage required to break the current nexus. It’s time someone in City Hall stood up to the plate.