In February 2012, the AFL Commission decided the Special Assistance Rule would cease in its current form and be replaced with a new rule.

Teams would no longer be entitled to receive special assistance based on set thresholds of wins/losses achieved during a season.

A formula was developed to help determine eligibility for special assistance.

The rule provides that the provision of special assistance is ultimately a matter for the Commission’s discretion and will be awarded only in exceptional circumstances. The decision will be based on a club’s on-field performance in recent years and any other matter the Commission regards as relevant.