Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham has called for a full review of the AFL in a commission meeting, according to veteran reporter Caroline Wilson.
After the AFL navigated the COVID-19 crisis by playing games in hubs as well as during crammed fixtures, the success of the season has led to questions over whether some of the changes introduced in 2020 should be made permanent.
According to Wilson, Pridham called for the AFL’s fixturing, competition structure as well as second-tier competitions to be reviewed among other things.
“Andrew Pridham has urged a major review of the entire competition,” she told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“This is not a review he thinks should be done by the commission, in fact I think Andrew Pridham said to the commission and their chairman Richard Goyder that they too should be reviewed.
“He wants to review the Players’ Association, all the clubs, the fixturing, the competition structure, the second-tier competitions, media deals, player managers.
“This isn’t a two-year thing, this is a 20-year plan. Some clubs got a little paranoid because although he didn’t say this, clearly 18 teams is something that there is support for a review of.
“There are clubs that believe that 18 teams is too many in the current financial circumstances.”
While Pridham’s stunning call caused some of the AFL’s more financially unstable clubs concern, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire allayed their fears.
“I don’t think there’s any attack on the 18 clubs. Everybody wants to get the 18 clubs through,” he told Footy Classified.
“There were a number of scenarios that were placed in front of us, whether we get back to what we were this time last year or whether we have the same again with hubs.
“Everybody is very focused on the figures and what needs to happen and Andrew Pridham’s position was that maybe it’s time to have a good look at everything.
“Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong, but after 27 years, which was the term that was used, maybe it’s time to have a look at what is going on.”