FREMANTLE admits it is likely to ask for financial assistance amid the COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the AFL.

Within weeks, the Dockers have gone from debt-free to on the verge of a League handout, according to club chief executive Simon Garlick.

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The AFL has secured credit lines of up to $600 million to support clubs during the season suspension until at least May 31.

In a letter to Fremantle members, Garlick said the Dockers wanted to remain "unassisted" for as long as possible, but believes financial help is almost inevitable.

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"Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Fremantle was one of a handful of clubs that was debt-free and held cash reserves," he wrote to members.

"But the reality of the situation is, that at some stage in 2020, we are likely to require to seek some funding assistance from the AFL.

"In the event that we are required to incur some form of debt, your club will do everything it can to ensure it takes on as little as possible and has plans in place to eradicate it as soon as practical.

"It is abundantly clear that the stronger financial position that the club is in and the less debt we have when we emerge from this crisis, the better off the club will be in the short and long-term."

Powerhouse clubs like Essendon, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Hawthorn and Richmond have declared they won't request financial help from the AFL amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Debt-ridden clubs like St Kilda and Brisbane will be among those to receive financial support to stay afloat during the crisis.

Garlick said Dockers players were coping "incredibly well" during the layoff.

"I can assure you our reduced football department staff are doing all in their power to provide as much support to our players as is required," he said.