SEN chief broadcaster Gerard Whateley believes Jeff Kennett’s most recent idea would lead to the death of multiple clubs if implemented.
Kennett penned a letter to Hawthorn members saying that the AFL’s “rivers of gold” have dried up in the wake of COVID-19 and that clubs who can’t pull their own weight should be relegated.
“The timeline for these KPIs should be three years with an evaluation taking place in the third year of performance,” Kennett wrote.
“If clubs and their boards do not meet the KPIs set, they should be relegated to the VFL.
“No longer can non-performance be supported. This is not directed at any club and is only prospective. Emotion alone is not sufficient a reason for non-performance.
“The AFL must take a more commercial view to the conduct of our code.”
Whateley however doesn’t believe this achieves anything except the death of multiple clubs.
“If you run it to its end (Kennett’s idea), it would see the demise of a couple of clubs in the AFL competition,” Whateley told AFL Nation.
“There’s no other way this plays out, regardless of claiming that we’re all in this together, if you run this to its conclusion, clubs don’t survive.”
Whateley added that there will always be a disparity between the biggest clubs and the smallest clubs financially.
“There’s absolutely some merit in some of what is said, but there are inherent disadvantages that cannot be overcome within the construct of the competition,” he said.
“There are tiers that you simply won’t rise … the battling clubs will always be the battling clubs in the model as it is now and if you say to them ‘if you can’t improve your dependency in three years, you’re out’ – a couple of them won’t make it. They just won’t.
“Everybody should be looking to lessen the dependency, but if you put the absolute on it and you put a timeframe in place, the only outcome is the death of clubs.”