There’s growing support for a wildcard weekend to play off for finals spots amongst clubs, according to AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
The mini-round — which would likely be a 7th v 10th and 8th v 9th play-off for a finals spot — is one of several different fixture models that were discussed in a club CEOs meeting today.
The so-called ‘wildcard weekend’ would replace the post-round 23 bye.
Equality of a 22-week fixture in an 18 team competition were was on the agenda at the meeting, including the 17-5 and 18-4 plans.
McLachlan said “about 12” options were discussed at the meeting, but that the wildcard round had the most support.
“Wildcard got a lot of discussion — there was more interest in a wildcard round leading into finals than I thought there would be,” McLachlan said.
“That had, I would say, not universal but a significant level of support... that was the thing that was probably most surprising.”
Any significant reform of the fixture likely to happen in 2019 at the earliest.
The AFL’s ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with the players and AFLW expansion were also discussed.