'Financial disaster': Eddie McGuire's startling call on AFL season

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire is pictured speaking on Channel 9 football program Footy Classified.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has admitted the AFL's relocation to Queensland is a significant financial strain on the league. Picture: Channel 9/Footy Classified

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has admitted the AFL’s decision to relocate to Queensland due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne has serious financial ramifications for the league.

Speaking on SEN radio on Wednesday afternoon, McGuire conceded the Queensland move was a ‘financial disaster’, but was nonetheless optimistic about the long term future of the game.

Games will be hosted in Queensland, while the league has been permitted to host fixtures in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, with games in the Northern Territory also on the cards.

“This is financially challenging, but we've got a big balance sheet and got good broadcast support, so I feel very confident about where we're at,” McGuire said.

“This is more expensive than the alternative but manageable.

“It's such a financial disaster for the competition but now it's a matter of just getting the season away as best we can.

“It's all shoulders to the wheel, help players and their families as best we can but it's been done with the AFLPA, everyone is trying to make the best of a horrible situation and we will do whatever we can.

Eddie McGuire concedes AFL faces significant challenges

With the Queensland biting the AFL’s hip-pocket, as well as ongoing certainty surrounding the future of the competition in 2021, McGuire said it was difficult to predict what would come next.

The Magpies boss said the AFL’s leadership was doing the best it could under significant pressure.

“In the next few years, we're going to have to fight back,” he said.

“Fingers crossed there is a next year but let's get this year out of the way as best we can.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is pictured speaking to the media.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan speaks to the media during a press conference at AFL House. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“You go into these meetings with the AFL, you sit down with a piece of paper to take your notes and you're hearing a story that would be the biggest story in football every other day in a nonchalant, concise manner by Gillon McLachlan and Richard Goyder.

“Gill looked like he hadn't slept all night and by the time it comes to the club we know the AFL are doing all they can.

“If you can come up with an idea that's any better, good luck.”