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Thursday, January 28 2021 @ 08:46 am ACDT

17th licence clears last major hurdle, expansion on track as others contract

General News

As reported in Gold Coast look the goods, only one major hurdle appeared to remain in the path of the Gold Coast Football Club being awarded the 17th AFL licence. That obstacle was that although the state Labor Government of Queensland had committed $60 million towards a rebuild of the Carrara stadium, the Liberal-National Party opposition would not commit.

Happily for the GC17 team, despite the LNP grabbing a small lead in opinion polls coming into the election, yesterday's vote appears to have delivered Labor a comfortable victory, albeit with a reduced margin. This should see the AFL quickly formally award the licence and the Gold Coast FC commence the next wave of off-field recruitment. The club begins in the primarily Victorian Under 18 competition this year, progressing to the VFL in 2010 and now look certain to debut in the AFL in 2011.

The AFL has also re-stated its intention to aim for a 2012 AFL debut for a western Sydney team. See Expansion plans on course.

In other news on the health of the AFL clubs, Port Adelaide recently put their hand out for assistance like that enjoyed by several Melbourne-based clubs. The AFL made it clear such help would not be forthcoming, saying they should negotiate a better stadium deal. However unlike the MCG and Docklands Stadium, Adelaide's AAMI Stadium is owned and operated by football. So unfortunately for football in South Australia, already struggling with crowds down at the Power, an aging main stadium, soccer on the rise and several SANFL clubs living on the edge, it appears the choice is between Port Adelaide and the local state league clubs. If the Power can't turn around their finances and the AFL don't come to the table, expect the SANFL clubs to be the ones that suffer. When the Crows formed, the league contracted from 10 to 9 clubs - perhaps we'll see that shrink again. So the great irony may be that SANFL fans will be barracking for arch enemy Port Adelaide in the hope they return to profit thus saving the need to strip cash from the local sides.

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17th licence clears last major hurdle, expansion on track as others contract | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
17th licence clears last major hurdle, expansion on track as others contract
Authored by: jono52795 on Sunday, March 22 2009 @ 01:51 pm ACDT

I hate Port!!! They get terrible crowds, strip cash from the SANFL clubs, and spread very thinly, support for footy in SA. I would believe this:
1) GCFC come into AFL in 2011
2) Port relocate to Tassie, thus getting all SA's behind the Crows, and an ability to really get behind the SANFL clubs
3) Introduce WSFC, conquering Rugby heartland, and even consider furthere expansion in NT?

17th licence clears last major hurdle, expansion on track as others contract
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, March 22 2009 @ 04:08 pm ACDT

The AFL have said they are committed to two teams in Adelaide, but also that Port need to get a better deal with the SANFL - that's debatable. But I think at the end of the day the SANFL won't want the Power to fold and aren't in as strong a position to stand firm as the AFL, so the most likely outcome is:

1. SANFL provide a compromise stadium deal (near term)
2. Port rebuild some of their lost crowds (medium term)
3. AFL provide more assistance at grassroots level in SA (medium term and not so confident)
4. Port grow a larger base as a percentage of Adelaide population, so obviously the Crows' base will shrink (longer term)

Port to Tassie just doesn't make sense. There's no connection between them, at a stretch perhaps Port would fold and Tassie would get the licence and the core of players.

If the Power were to continue to struggle then selling a couple of games to the NT would surely be an option - strong SA links with NT both politically and through footy, strong indigenous content in current Port side.

As for an NT club itself, said it before, the population is far smaller than Tasmania, so if it is a struggle for them, the NT would have to be 50 years away at best. Perhaps a Northern Australia side, embracing NT and North Queensland? A long way off though.

The bottom line for me is that Port are not in any immediate danger, and I think it's far more likely that the outcome will follow the 4 points I made above, and (hopefully less likely) the SANFL will lose one more club, reducing the split on the money they share from AAMI Stadium. This year also sees yet another move to conform - the SANFL will have an under 18 competition after having been under 17s and under 19s previously.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN