AFL has enough flexibility to complete 17-round season: McLachlan

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan is confident the league can get a 17-round season away, even if its return date is pushed beyond June 1.

The season is suspended until at least May 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic and was reduced to 17 rounds and finals before the 2020 campaign kicked off.

The AFL remains confident of getting through a 17-round season.Credit:Getty Images

"We've got a really united industry, a united group of players and clubs that know that it's plausible to get 17 rounds away [and] almost maybe in less than 17 weeks if we compress it a little bit – maybe we could pick up one or two weeks there over the course of 17 weeks.

"So we have time beyond June 1 to get 17 rounds away."

Meanwhile, McLachlan said AFL club members could ask for refunds if they needed but emphasised the importance of memberships to the 18 clubs' financial viability.

"Of course [members can get refunds]. If they need it, they can," he said.

"But yes, we would love them to stay because our industry is in a battle and our clubs are in a battle to get through and the membership is their life blood.

"But all I'd say is I understand the pain going on out there and people need to make their own decisions … Though I know our members understand how big their contribution of membership is to their clubs."

AAP

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