VETERAN Sydney coach John Longmire does not believe the AFL will resume on a level playing field, as more clubs across the competition prepare for interstate hubs in the midst of continued travel restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis.
Adelaide and Port Adelaide are the most recent teams to have been denied fly-in, fly-out exemptions by their state government, joining West Coast and Fremantle in being forced to potentially move interstate in order to restart the delayed 2020 season.
As reported by AFL.com.au on Wednesday, the Eagles and the Dockers are now looking into the possibility of relocating to an isolated hub in Gold Coast. However, the Crows and the Power are still investigating their options.
With quarantine hubs now firmly back on the agenda, Longmire said it was inevitable there would be an inequity among the 18 teams when the season does eventually resume in the near future and suggested the League should help those at a disadvantage.
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"It's hard to (land on a level playing field) anyway … even before this had happened, everyone aims for a level playing field and everyone talks about it a lot but the reality is, it's far from level," Longmire told radio station SEN.
"Even now, when we're presented with this, it's going to be just an accepted part of what we hope to get back and play. It's not going to be a level playing field.
"If there are ways to be able to help clubs that are maybe more disadvantaged than others, then I think we should explore it. Everyone in the competition should look at that and understand that it's the way it should be done."
With state governments relaxing certain isolation measures at different stages than others, Longmire also suggested that it would be difficult for every club to resume training in the same manner at once.
"In an ideal world (training would resume at the same time for every team) … but it's far from an ideal world," Longmire said.
"Even the guys in Western Australia were talking about this a week or 10 days ago, that they were able to train in groups of 10. We were trying to keep that equal up until now.
"I'd like us all to be training at once, but I don't know whether it's going to be realistic. I don't envy the job the AFL is doing. It's just incredible, the amount of complexities that they've got to navigate through."