'They're angry': AFL 'infuriated' by family hub requests

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan addresses media.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has been given plenty of headaches around the quarantine hubs. Pic: Getty

The AFL can't seem to take a trick when it comes to the quarantine hubs that they've set up for players and families at the cost of millions of dollars.

Beset by quarantine breach scandals around coaches, players and family members, AFL officials are reportedly "fed up" by a new set of issues that have arisen.

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AFL teams have relocated to quarantine hubs in Queensland and Perth due to concerning virus outbreaks in Victoria and NSW, and the league is paying for the players’ families to join them there.

However, Nine reporter Sam McClure claims AFL officials have become "infuriated" by countless requests from players and their families - ranging from extra food to renovations for their lodgings.

“The AFL’s fed up, to be honest. They won’t want to say it, (but) they’re frustrated, they’re infuriated, they’re angry.” McClure said.

“There’s just too many things going on that shouldn’t be going on. Some of the requests – requests for apartments to be altered in some physical way.

“There have also been requests for the AFL to foot the bill of extra orders from Coles Express, even though food’s already provided to all the players. Players can’t be doing that when they would’ve been paying for their food if they were living back at home.

Hundreds of family members have joined up with the players, with the AFL footing the bill to the tune of around $3 million.

The AFL has already been left at its wits end by several high-profile quarantine breaches and it's understood they have told players, staff and families to make do with their current arrangements.

“We all know that they’re making an extreme sacrifice and we’re so grateful for that … But the AFL, make no bones about it, have told certain clubs that: ‘Enough is enough, let’s get on with it, the game is struggling enough as it is, some of the requests are ridiculous and let’s move on’, McClure added.

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“I think the AFL has made that pretty clear and I think you will find that’s come from the top.”

Port Adelaide great Warren Tredrea urged AFL players and family members to put their concerns into perspective, considering the countless suffering around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re the first to put their hands up and whinge and want extra. I mean what are they paying for at the moment?” Tredrea said.

“They’re paying for their mortgages and that’s it. They’re not paying for the cost of living. They’re actually able to still get paid 50 per cent of their salary and it looks like, I’m hearing, they might not even be deducted next year if we can get through this.

“Football season’s going on, yes they’re keeping everyone involved, but they’re keeping themselves involved too.

“I think as footballers, you lose perspective very quickly on how tough life is. You might’ve dropped from $800,000 to $400,000 – well go and have a look and walk the streets of Melbourne at the moment, look at the unemployment queues and Centrelink. Good luck and grow up.”