OVERHAUL might be required in the player movement system to ensure clubs rooted to the bottom of the ladder can rise up, Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans says.
The Suns have never made the finals since joining the AFL in 2011 and won't do so this year either, having lost eight straight matches to sit 15th after 14 rounds.
Evans suggested changes could be made to free agency and the way the NAB AFL Draft is ordered when speaking to Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.
He acknowledged the Suns needed to fix their own issues first, but said more needed to be done.
"If the system is designed that the same four or five clubs will be perennially bottom-six, that is a question that has to go to the very core of the AFL product to say 'Do we want a faster regeneration period than the system is currently allowing?'," Evans, who was the AFL's football operations manager in 2013-17, said.
Gold Coast co-captain Tom Lynch comes out of contract at season's end, and the Victorian could leave as a restricted free agent.
Evans said interstate clubs found it tougher.
"With free agency, it does distort where talent might go," Evans said.
"It's very, very good for the players. I think it gives them a say as to what they might do across their career.
"But, if there is a disparity in the way free agency plays out, for example, if it assists better players to go towards the clubs higher up the ladder … (and) if there was also a move toward Victoria as opposed to away from Victoria, if that is also true, then right now we're in the wrong quadrant of that four-square."
Furthermore, Evans put forward a system that would favour clubs based on how long they had been absent from September action.
"There might be something around a model where you could have a series of draft picks at the front-end of the draft that's actually tied to whether you've made the finals in a recent timeframe or not," Evans said.
He believed that would not cause the issue priority picks raised, when finishing with fewer than five wins was a potential disincentive for teams to win matches.
"No-one would ever decide to finish ninth ahead of eighth," Evans said.
"You'll always try and make the eight and maybe there's an opportunity there for clubs who haven't been in finals for a period of time to have an extra draft pick."