AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan has accepted the fact there won't be spectators when matches resume in 2020, but is not yet resigned to a fan-ban through to the Grand Final.

"I am very clear, and I don't see a way where we would be starting a season with crowds, but do I think very late in the year is there zero chance (of no crowds)? No, I don't," McLachlan told

"Is it remote? Probably. I am realistic about the challenges but I haven't ruled it out definitively at the back end."

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Will we have a premier in 2020? Gill gives his take

How the AFL will avoid a second interruption to the season if there is a re-start

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McLachlan will inform clubs by the end of April the timeframe for resumption of the AFL season, which was suspended after round one due to the COVID-19 shutdown and which had already been reduced from a total of 198 matches to 153, equating to each team playing 17 games.

He is adamant those matches and a yet-to-be-determined finals series will be completed by December 31.

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"I think we will have a premier in 2020," McLachlan said.

"We need to draw some lines and in the end we need to find a premier in 2020, and there will be another premier next year.

"As I sit here today, with the information I have, we can run a season and have a premier in 2020."

REVEALED The AFL's plan to restart footy

While no one at federal and state government level, as well as the medical authorities, could yet predict a clearance period for professional sports to resume, it is known senior AFL figures are hopeful of a late July resumption.

"Our plan is when we do start we don't want to stop," McLachlan said.