New AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has a lot on his plate.
The New Daily has helpfully compiled a list of the things he needs to get on to straight away…
1. Get people back to the footy. It’s all very well pushing up TV ratings before the next deal, but empty stadiums are a bad look.
2. Remember it’s supposed to be the peoples’ game, so steady the costs of admission, membership, food and drink. Even better, bring ’em down. (Why? See above.)
3. Hook up the GPS in the Range Rover and actually visit Broadmeadows, Elizabeth, Balga, Penrith and Logan where the true supporters live.
4. Wrest control of the game back from television. Yes, they pay big bucks, but should they really decide the fixture and pretty much everything else?
5. Tell the bloody umpires to apply the bloody rules!
6. Recognise that it won’t be an equitable competition until everyone plays each other the same number of times. So, yes, that might mean a 17 week home and away season and an extended final series.
7. Put rules in place that restore the attractiveness of the sport. Recognise that no sport should be entirely in the hands of coaches who are only driven by results. If that means restricting player movement on the field, further winding back the interchange, or reducing numbers on the ground, so be it.
8. Protect the person who gets the ball, not the tackler or – even worse – the bloke who pushes the ball under his opponent in search of a cheap free.
9. Get rid of runners. They are unsightly and unnecessary (and we know that Andrew didn’t like them).
10. One way or another draw a line under the Essendon saga – whatever it takes.
11. Get some women into the place.
12. Get someone else to read the votes at the Brownlow.
13. Be done with it and play a Good Friday game.
14. Make a decision on a night grand final so The Age doesn’t keep reporting you’re considering it.
15. Roll back gambling’s intrusion into the sport.
16. Spend more time at Blacktown and less time at the Super Bowl.
17. Equalise the competition. Or, at least, pretend to be interested in it just to keep the Doggies happy.
18. Don’t repeat Demetriou’s error and put your head in the sand about tanking, thereby giving it a green light.
19. Take action to dissuade clubs from tanking.
20. Get a haircut.