AFL clubs have been asked for feedback on the possibility of cramming extra matches into the next six weeks of fixturing.
While rounds six and seven of the 2020 AFL season will stand as fixtured, the ensuing weeks are expected to look very different as the AFL and its clubs continue to respond to the heightened uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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With all 10 Victorian clubs now based out of that state, AFL commission chairman Richard Goyder and CEO Gillon McLachlan on Wednesday morning chaired an online meeting of club presidents and CEOs, where the possibility of scheduling shorter breaks between a series of games was canvassed.
The return to strict lockdown measures enforced by the Victorian government has caused the greatest curveball to the 2020 season yet.
When it was announced last week that the Victorian clubs would be leaving their state, it was stated they would return after 32 days, allowing for the completion, in a "traditional" fixturing sense, of rounds six to 10.
But the inability to play matches in Victoria for a minimum six weeks as of midnight Wednesday has forced the AFL and its clubs to reconsider those plans, and after the completion of round seven, the fixture is near certain to look very different to the regular Thursday to Sunday timeslots for matches.
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The cramming of matches inside that timeframe would present massive challenges for all aspects of the AFL industry, particularly players, coaches and broadcasters, and feedback from all facets was sought out of Wednesday's meeting with the club bosses.
The clubs, while apprehensive about the possibilities of asking players to endure shorter breaks, have indicated initial conditional support to the potential changes.
Upon completion of the matches jammed into the next five or six weeks, consideration will be given to a period of AFL shutdown to allow clubs to re-set for the run into finals.
The obvious uncertainty attached to clubs needing to return to Victoria, and then potentially again leaving the state, is a logistical nightmare.