20 teams, 19 rounds - Vision for an uncompromised fixture

fairdinkum

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 22, 2007
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Many people, like myself, want to see the AFL's philosophy towards the fixture altered dramatically such that the main priority becomes fairness, and 'increasing revenue' takes second place. The many and varied reasons as to the importance of such a fixture have been debated elsewhere but suffice to say that the premise of this thread is that the AFL must revert to a fair fixture ASAP.

Right now we have 18 teams playing 22 matches per season. That works out to 198 H&A matches of AFL every year.

Unfortunately, if we were to revert to a fair fixture with the current 18-team competition, the only options would be a 34-match season (too long) or a 17-match season - 153 matches of AFL per year, a reduction of over 20%. This would naturally lead to a reduction in the value of the broadcasting rights which, I'm sure most will agree, is not an option at this stage.

The best alternative that I can see is this: increase the competition to 20 teams who play each other once: 190 matches per season. A fair fixture. Ideally I would want this to come into effect as of Season 2017 (as that will be the first of the next broadcast rights agreement).

The question is whether two new teams could be found and introduced by then without adding to the AFL's already-sizeable burden of propping up GWS and GC. For my plan to work, there would have to be at least one new expansion club which could come in and pay its own way within a few years at most, and one other club (perhaps Tasmanian) which could at least be mostly self-sufficient relatively quickly.

I currently have a thread going on the Main board to discuss whether or not WA could support a viable and financial third club by 2017. If WA could not support such an expansion club, then I suspect no region could. Melbourne is obviously full as it is, SA still has its issues with Port Adelaide (a club I admire and want in the competition) often cited as a poor choice for an expansion club, NSW and QLD are clearly over-saturated with football clubs at the moment and will not need new ones for at least twenty years (and possibly as many as fifty), and NT and Canberra need no explanation. I would have thought a third WA team was more viable than a Tasmanian team, but this is another topic worthy of debate.

To sweeten the deal for the broadcasters (and 'football fans' who care more about money than actual footy), the option could be there to expand to a 20-round competition to facilitate a 'Rivalry Round' (Ess v Coll, Rich v Carl, Derby, Showdown, Pineapple Grapple, Stoush, etc) to bolster ratings, attendance etc. Obviously this would compromise the fixture to some degree but it would still be much better than the current system.

My plan faces many issues including:

*Can two new clubs be found who won't break the AFL's bank?

*Is there enough corporate support in Australia to back 20 professional AFL teams (as well as NRL, Super 15, A-League)

*Is there enough football talent to maintain high-level footy across 10 matches per week? (I think 'yes' but understand many disagree)

*How do you sort out finals?

*When would the extra match be played? (I support two Friday night matches, you could play a Friday night in Perth every second week and time it so that as match 1 in Melbourne finishes you can cross live to Perth for match 2).

I'm interested to get people's thoughts on my idea. For me, the biggest obstacle is finding two new clubs who won't break the bank. However, if this is what it takes to get a fair fixture, then it is well worth looking into.

:thumbsu:
 

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The_Wookie

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Jul 2, 2010
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Tasmania and Canberra or NT on low cost models similar to Gold Coast. Good stadiums and make a profit on low crowds. Dont want to see a third team in WA/SA or god forbid qld.

Extra game becomes Monday Night Football (AU).
 

____

.
Sep 1, 2009
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I definitely agree with this. I'd put the extra teams in Hobart and Launceston (would be a good local derby). Plus this means every team travels to Qld, NSW/ACT, SA, WA and Tas at least once.

A normal round should be like this

Game 1: Friday night 7.50pm AEST
Game 2: Saturday afternoon 2.10pm AEST
Game 3: Saturday afternoon 2.10pm AEST
Game 4: Saturday twilight 5pm AEST
Game 5: Saturday twilight 5pm AEST
Game 6: Saturday night 7.50pm AEST
Game 7: Sunday early afternoon 12.30pm AEST
Game 8: Sunday early afternoon 12.30pm AEST
Game 9: Sunday late afternoon 3.20pm AEST
Game 10: Sunday late afternoon 3.20pm AEST

Every game live on Pay TV, Games 1 and 6 automatically on FTA - The blockbuster matches of the round, either games 2 or 3, 4 or 5, 7 or 8 and 9 or 10 will also be live on FTA but not decided automatically (Because games that sound unappealling at the start of the season might be really appealling after Round 14).

Also no WA team plays on Friday Night Football (due to time differences) but gets more Saturday Night games to make up for it.

If 7 or 9 win the rights Friday Night Football will realistically be on delay on FTA there, but as compensation get Game 9 or 10 on a 2hr replay 4pm their time after the Live game 9 or 10 (whichever one gets shown live there).

Quarter time breaks reduced to 4 minutes and half-time breaks reduced to 18 minutes to reduce likelihood of matches overlapping each other.

After that TV deal another 2 teams can be added in Canberra and Darwin, or could be kept to 20 teams by adding Canberra and merging North and Dogs.
 

El Camino

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Apr 7, 2012
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I definitely agree with this. I'd put the extra teams in Hobart and Launceston (would be a good local derby).
No chance of the AFL putting TWO teams in Tasmania, population is just too small. Hobart having roughly 125,000-130,000 and Launceston having 65,000-70,000, there is no way the AFL would look past Canberra with a population of 310,000.


The AFL should put a team in Tasmania, playing in Hobart & Launceston, and a team in Canberra.
 

FootyJunkie

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Canberra is GWS territory.

3rd Perth side after the new stadium is created (i like the Perth United "Royal Falcons" idea with the WAFL Falcons, Royals and Demons get together to form a combined side) and Tassie, alternating home games between Hobart and Launceston.

Another side in Perth would mean 11 weeks of 2 Perth games (11 weeks of Friday night double headers with one game out east and second game in Perth) and another 6 weeks where there would be a derby. Tasmania deserves a side.
 

Greg Brady

Club Legend
Jan 24, 2010
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Love the idea of another WA team (Perth United sounds shocking, Perth itself is a goer) and a Tasmanian team (varying between Launceston and Hobart). Leave Canberra as a fall back option in case GWS cant make enough ground in Blacktown!
 

final fight

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Playing each team once is the way to go. We should be doing it now. If the comp ever went to 20 teams we could witness some of the most boring AFL ever played. We have a very small population that plays a variety of different sports. 20 teams works in English and Italian football because the majority of their population plays one sport.

I personally think the AFL will grow to 20 teams eventually
 

Demonic Ascent

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*Is there enough football talent to maintain high-level footy across 10 matches per week? (I think 'yes' but understand many disagree)
This is the biggest thing for me. At the moment there is already too many teams for the talent available. Sure you can always find players to pad out the last few spots on each teams list but having 18 teams instead of 16 or 14 means that there are another 80-160 players on lists that otherwise wouldn't be. Add in another two teams and thats another 80 players you have to find and unfortunately the talent pool just isn't big enough considering the two most populous states are RL territory. Give it another generation and this may change with more players coming out of NSW/QLD and/or the population in Vic/Tas/SA/WA growing but at the moment I'd say no. Ultimately 20 teams would be ideal though for fixturing purposes and to have a team in Tas & Canberra (or potentially a 3rd WA team).
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Mar 20, 2007
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20 teams does not equate to fairness. Playing Eagles in Perth is far far tougher than playing in Melbourne (if a Vic team of course).

Plus dilution of playing talent is spread far too thin. 18 is probably too much.
 

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Eastern Rangers

2015 Worsfold Medalist - Rowen Powell
Aug 27, 2006
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20 teams does not equate to fairness. Playing Eagles in Perth is far far tougher than playing in Melbourne (if a Vic team of course).

Plus dilution of playing talent is spread far too thin. 18 is probably too much.
Talent development is a bigger issue than talent itself, getting kids into the game and developing those players beyond U12's to the point that they are playing decent football in U17's is the single biggest challenge our sport has, a talent pool is only as big as we make it, it has always has been the case and always will be.

That excludes NSW/ QLD. Which are almost totally un-tapped.
 

fairdinkum

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 22, 2007
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I think he means if we played the 20th Round or '$$$ Round' as it would be informally known.

I would go with WC v Freo, the 19th and 20th teams making up the final 'rivalry' for the round.
 

alzy11

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Jun 17, 2011
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A territory team which plays home games at TIO and Manuka could work?? Two small supporter bases combined to make one decent one. And alongside a team from tassie would mean 1 team in each state plus one for the territories (like the the points on the commonwealth star on the flag). Thoughts?
 

FootyJunkie

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 5, 2005
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A territory team which plays home games at TIO and Manuka could work?? Two small supporter bases combined to make one decent one. And alongside a team from tassie would mean 1 team in each state plus one for the territories (like the the points on the commonwealth star on the flag). Thoughts?
Canberra is for GWS.

A third side in Perth/WA will happen... that's where the $$$ lies.
 

McCrann

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Nov 1, 2007
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A territory team which plays home games at TIO and Manuka could work?? Two small supporter bases combined to make one decent one. And alongside a team from tassie would mean 1 team in each state plus one for the territories (like the the points on the commonwealth star on the flag). Thoughts?
Your kidding right? Kinda like the Kangaroos and their second base in Sydney (which is why they changed their name to the Kangaroos for a few years). How did that work out for you???
 

Kwality

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A territory team which plays home games at TIO and Manuka could work?? Two small supporter bases combined to make one decent one. And alongside a team from tassie would mean 1 team in each state plus one for the territories (like the the points on the commonwealth star on the flag). Thoughts?

Are you trying to make North look like a footy powerhouse - even less bums on seats than North, heaven forbid !!
 

shammersting

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Apr 1, 2006
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What about 19 teams. Each team plays 9 home and 9 away games and rotate who they play home and away each season. Could be a 20 week season, each team has 2 byes etc...
 

RossFC

Moderator
May 23, 2012
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Great idea
for the round id have
Friday night
Sat arvo
Sat arvo
Sat twilight
Sat night
Sat night
(during holidays have 1 saturday game (not the twilight game) on thursday)
Sun early
Sun twilight
Sun night
Mon night
 

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