WAFL clubs oppose October grand final
All 10 WAFL clubs – including WA football powerhouse West Coast – have urged the WA Football Commission to reverse its decision to play the 2023 grand final after the AFL version.
An emergency club meeting on Thursday resolved to urge the WAFC to scrap the fixture released this week and find a more palatable solution.
Clubs said WAFC management recommended a shorter season finishing the Sunday before the AFL grand final but the commissioners voted on Wednesday to extend the season to 27 weeks.
It would start at Easter and finish with a grand final on October 7.
This would require either five byes in an 18-game season or two more matches, both outcomes opposed by the clubs.
Clubs said the WAFC offered to provide an extra $300,000 to help them pay players if two extra games were scheduled.
No location has been confirmed for the grand final but the proposed October date would again make it difficult to plan with any certainty to hold it at Optus Stadium.
The 2022 grand final was moved to Leederville Oval at late notice – and was considered a great success – when Optus became unavailable due to an international cricket match taking priority.
West Coast opposed the proposed 2023 fixture and wanted a closer alignment between the AFL and WAFL seasons.
As it stands now, the first WAFL match played by the Eagles would coincide with the fourth AFL round.
It is understood West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett immediately sought a meeting with WAFC chairman Wayne Martin to press the AFL club’s position.
The WAFC issued a press release about the WAFL fixture at virtually the same time clubs were informed of the fixture decision.