COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire says his proposal for a new $1 billion stadium to be built close to the MCG could eliminate all club debt and "bulletproof" football.
The proposed 60,000-seat stadium, which would see the razing of Etihad Stadium, would feature a retractable roof, with the preferred site across the railway lines from the MCG.
McGuire said the new stadium would free clubs such as St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne from their restrictive agreements at Etihad Stadium.
"There would an opportunity for all clubs to eliminate debt and not be reliant on television money, because we don't know where the world of television is going in the next five to 10 years," McGuire told Triple M.
"It give us an opportunity to put that money into grassroots football for boys and girls, to maybe even land bank around Melbourne to bulletproof football.
"Another key point of this is that we don't jam the supporters [and] the clubs don't die on the vine to slumlords, which has happened to a number of clubs there (at Etihad Stadium)."
North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw last year labelled his club's agreement with Etihad Stadium "the worst stadium deal in the history of world sport".
The Saints have also complained about being forced to cut spending in their football department in previous seasons because of poor match-day returns.
McGuire said a new stadium would not be beholden to shareholders who needed to maximise returns, but "a facility that is world's best for the people".
"The idea is to keep it as cheap as possible for supporters … keep it cheap for people to fill it up," he said.
"The bottom line for me is we get rid of the debt of all the clubs, we bulletproof our wonderful sport for the next 100 years … and we actually have our Sydney Harbour, which becomes the sports precinct in the middle of Olympic Park."
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been briefed on the proposal, telling News Corp in a statement, "The MCG, Melbourne and Olympic Park stadiums are the envy of the world, but in a competitive market we can't sit back and let others pass us by.
"I encourage fresh thinking and innovative ideas to enhance our sporting arenas. Eddie is a passionate Victorian with a love of our great game and a vision for our major sporting precinct."
McGuire said he had spent 12 months working on the concept and had held talks with the government, Melbourne Cricket Club, city planners, developers and financiers.
Etihad Stadium will be sold under the proposal for a new ground close to the MCG. Picture: AFL Media
The plan involves moving Richmond train station underground, but it revolves around the sale of Etihad Stadium, which the AFL will buy back for $30 in March, 2025.
The AFL said it supported the Premier's view that Victoria had world-class sporting facilities, but that "we need to invest to ensure that we don't go backwards in an increasingly competitive market".
"The AFL is keen to continue to discuss with the Victorian Government the best stadium and infrastructure outcome for the city of Melbourne and the Victorian public," spokesperson Patrick Keane told AFL.com.au.
Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon was adamant a stadium was still required in the west of the city.
"You need to remember that the western region of Melbourne is the fastest growing population base in Australia, and will be for the next 30 years," he told SEN.
"I still prefer the Docklands as a venue.
"It services the people in the west and north-western suburbs of Melbourne, of which my club is one, and its members."
Gordon argued the ground should be renovated to create a hub for the Docklands precinct.
"It needs to be renovated. In the last 20 years there have been remarkable developments there, and I think in the next 100 years it's going to be even greater."
Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who was in power when Etihad Stadium was built, said he believed the proposal was not worth risking the Australian Open.
"(It) is the biggest sporting event in Australia over two weeks that gives us lots of promotion overseas," the former Hawthorn president said.
"I'm not prepared to put at risk the Australian Open in Melbourne for a new stadium there fundamentally for football in all its various forms."
Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham took the opportunity to have a sly dig at McGuire, who was critical of the shift at short notice of Collingwood's round one clash from ANZ Stadium to the SCG.
I wish they would stop moving the stadium's around in Melbourne it is most inconvenient to our travel plans.— Andrew Pridham (@Pridhamhq) March 8, 2016