Good afternoon.

I have said on a number of occasions that this would be a season of challenges.   

The one certainty of 2020 is every day will throw up a different challenge.

We have a different fixture today then we had yesterday and as situations change across Australia so has our response. 

We have talked about being flexible and agile and continue to ensure our decisions are anchored in the advice of Governments and health authorities.

It is important to be able to give our clubs, our players, umpires and officials greater certainty by outlining the time they will be away, where they will be located and also who they will be playing

Those same Governments and health authorities have been instrumental in ensuring that our competition continues but in a slightly different format.

Part of the revised fixture is to temporarily relocate all 10 Victorian-based teams out of the state for approximately 32 days and move them to bases in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia where they will undergo the various quarantine regimes while also continuing to adhere to the strict protocols the AFL has in place.

By Monday, all 10 clubs will have temporarily moved out of Victoria for the next block of matches.

As you can imagine it has been a major logistical exercise to organise the fixture, source training grounds and secure accommodation in such a short period of time.

I want to thank the Governments of Queensland, NSW and Western Australia for their support in allowing us to continue our season through different states.  

On behalf of the AFL and all our clubs I particularly want to thank the State and Territory Premiers and their teams for the ongoing support, guidance and advice.

I would also like to thank members of the AFL team who have worked fanatically over the last few days to make the relevant adjustments to the season.

The purpose of today is to provide you with an update on our clubs and their movements over the next block of matches.

The SA and WA-based clubs will return home after round five and round six respectively with Port Adelaide returning to Queensland to play matches in rounds six and seven.

Sydney and Greater Western Sydney will also remain based in NSW at the present time but with matches scheduled for both clubs in Queensland while the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns will each have a period in NSW before later returning to Queensland.

Collingwood and Geelong will head to NSW for one game before flying to Perth as previously planned.

St Kilda, North Melbourne, Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Carlton will be based in Queensland.

Hawthorn and Melbourne will be based in NSW.

As part of this move, we will play a total of 45 games in approximately 32 days.  

All Victorian clubs will then return for a short break after that period and we will re-assess our options, depending on the Covid-19 situation across the country.  If we aren't able to do this, then we will make the appropriate adjustments.

It is important to be able to give our clubs, our players, umpires and officials greater certainty by outlining the time they will be away, where they will be located and also who they will be playing.

I have spoken to the club CEOs and presidents and also to the AFLPA in recent days and want to thank all for their support and thank the players, officials and umpires who have to move at short notice. 

All clubs know that they have to share the load at some point through this season and all are united in their support of the concept.  

The sheer daily drama we are experiencing is like no other, and for me and our fans it is as exciting as it gets.

The matches are competitive, the competition is even, different teams are emerging, ratings are strong across the board, footy in Queensland and NSW is thriving and we are seeing engagement in those growth markets.

How this season is unfolding is unpredictable and unreal

And I want to thank our supporters for coming on that journey with us, for their patience and their commitment to our game. 

There will be more challenges ahead and I am also confident that the commitment and unity of our football community will ensure that we overcome them.

As I have said before this season is a season like no other and I fundamentally believe the team that wins the flag this year will be the team that accepts the change, embraces the change and shows the resilience to get on and just do it.