Big idea: a plan for a 20-team AFL comp put forward by Eddie McGuire has been questioned by former Port forward Kane Cornes. Photo: STEFAN POSTLES/ AAP IMAGE

Concern with McGuire’s 20-team AFL plan

April 15, 2021 BY

EDDIE McGuire outlined what he believes the future of the AFL looks like on Wednesday night.

Speaking on Footy Classified, the former Collingwood president said he would expand to a 20-team competition by 2028, with teams in Tasmania and Darwin/North Queensland.

He would shift to a 20-game streamlined fixture and a 12-team finals series to inject $20 million into the TV rights.

McGuire’s proposal also included three games to be played on the west coast of the United States and a Victorian team to be the “breakthrough” team in Tasmania until the standalone side is ready in 2028.

He adds the Tasmanian Government must commit $20 million indefinitely to help keep the team afloat.

Kane Cornes outlined his worry with McGuire’s plan, suggesting there might not be enough talent to support another 90 AFL players.

“My concern would be, is there enough talent in Australia to accommodate 20 AFL teams,” Cornes told SEN SA Breakfast.

“Already we’re seeing North Melbourne look like they can’t win a game of footy, and you’d question how some of these AFL players, with all due respect, are getting a game on an AFL list.

“We saw six games decided by 30 points or more. If you had two more teams, are we getting to three or four games per round that no one cares about, and everyone switches off?

“That would be the only thing. Can a country like Australia with our population sustain 20 AFL teams with the talent that we’ve got at our disposal.

“Right now, you’d have to say probably not.”

Cornes added that these two new teams must have sustainable supporter bases that turn up and help keep them financially viable.

“You don’t want four teams with three wins each for the year and sixteen of their games, no one cares about and no one’s turning up to,” he said.

“I mean, Gold Coast’s Round 1 game, I know it was wet, they had 6000 in attendance. That is concerning. North Melbourne had 13,000 against Port Adelaide in Round 1.

“I know there’s factors around that. How many would turn up in Tassie? How many would go to a home game? I don’t know. Can you sustain it? You don’t want money-sucking teams, like Gold Coast and GWS have been, we can’t afford to add another two to that.

“Every time I played in Darwin, they turned out, it didn’t matter who was playing because they’re passionate about it, but it is a tough place to play because of how wet the ball gets.”