All 18 AFL clubs will survive the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, League chief executive Gillon McLachlan says.
A day after the AFL secured a $600 million credit line from NAB and the ANZ, McLachlan is assuring the future of all clubs in the current structure of the competition.
LATEST NEWS All your COVID-19 updates here
"We are going into this with 18 clubs and we will come out with 18 clubs," he told SEN radio on Tuesday.
McLachlan's declaration comes as discussion on club mergers and club relocation has started to emerge in some sections of the media.
The AFL CEO also spoke on Triple M radio on Tuesday morning, where he reiterated his message.
KICK-TO-KICK WITH A DISINFECTED FOOTY How players will stay sharp
"18 in, 18 out is not just what we're saying, but it's our focus. We've got a period of time here - whether it's two months, four months, six months, I don't know - where we're working united as an industry," McLachlan said.
"[It's] the players, the clubs, the AFL, everyone involved in football is saying we have to protect our community, that's our priority, then after that we're going to come together and rebound.
"There'll be 18 clubs rebounding together, protecting elite footy and the industry and that flows into local footy and the community in general."
McLachlan was asked if there would be any other changes to the way the football industry is run, given the current financial strain and challenges ahead.
"We can guarantee that at the elite level and down to community that football will be around on the other side," he said.
"What I do feel is the alignment of the structures underpinning all the way through the AFL, there's always been people in each section saying, 'this doesn’t quite work'.
"I think there's an opportunity to get that alignment from community football, the talent pathways, school footy, the VFL (and other state leagues) and the AFL, I just think there's an opportunity to get a better alignment on that."