Sport Swans boss Andrew Pridham slams AFL 'floating round'
Great hope hanging over polarising AFL comeback
A great hope is looming over the AFL return of former Adelaide captain Taylor Walker, who's served his ban for racism.Adelaide has confirmed that Walker will return to face Essendon at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium on Sunday afternoon, after the club's greatest-ever goal-kicker completed his six-match ban for making a racist slur.
Swans chairman Andrew Pridham has slammed the for introducing a 'floating fixture', insisting the league should put the interest of fans and club ahead of its TV rights.
Outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan first introduced the concept when he was still Andrew Demetriou's No2, adopting a floating final round of fixtures to ensure teams finishing in the top eight would be given a sufficient break going into the finals.
The floating round became a necessity over the past two years, when thepandemic meant it was impossible for the AFL to carry out its traditional 23-game home-and-away season.
Blakeys to help shape Swans-Roos AFL clash
John Blakey and son Nick will have important roles on opposing teams when Sydney host North Melbourne on Saturday at the SCG.John Blakey, a two-time premiership player for North, spent several years as a highly-rated assistant coach at the Swans before returning to Arden St last year.
Having released the schedule for its first nine rounds, this week the AFL unveiled the draw for Round 10 and 11. Pridham said the arrangement made life unnecessarily complicated for match-going fans and that the move was deliberately designed with a new TV contract in mind.
'They're doing it for the media rights,' he told.
'I understand that, but you have to make choices and in this case, the priority should be fans, members and clubs.
'The supporters and members are the most important people in football apart from the players, and this is not in their long-term interests or those of the clubs.'
The floating fixture has allowed the AFL to keep some of its biggest matchups on free-to-air TV and McLachlan has previously hinted there was no guarantee the league would return to its traditional home-and-away season of fixed dates.
Swans edge gallant North Melbourne in AFL
Sydney were made to fight hard against a spirited North Melbourne until Isaac Heeney sealed the AFL win with four seconds remaining.Heeney goaled with four seconds remaining to seal the win, having been instrumental throughout the final term as the Swans were given a huge fright by a Kangaroos team that responded heroically to a 108-point thumping by Brisbane last week.
'I'd be staggered if anybody who regularly spoke to fans and members or who works in a club would not have that view,' Pridham added.
'You don't have to be Einstein to see it could be enshrined in the next media contract.
'As good as Gillon [AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan] is – and he is very good – he's not perfect. You want a CEO with a long-term view and not a six-month view. I feel very strongly that this floating fixture is a bad thing.'
Gold Coast chair moves to block Tigers boss from AFL's top job .
AFL CEO Gil McLachlan announced he would stand down at the end of the season and Gold Coast boss Tony Cochrane is already moving to block Richmond CEO Brendon Gale from the top job.Gillon McLachlan announced that he would stand down at the end of the season in an emotional address to media on Tuesday.