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Suns president doubles down on the AFL's "massive, massive mistake"


Gold Coast president Tony Cochrane has doubled down on his criticism of the AFL’s “massive, massive mistake” to switch the 2021 Grand Final back to its traditional afternoon timeslot.

Cochrane, who played a major role in helping stage last year’s historic night Grand Final at the Gabba, is vehemently against the 2:30pm start time with his advice to AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan falling on deaf ears.

“It rated its pants off – it was a fantastic success on every metric you can apply to it, right across the country. And for the first time in a long while, we absolutely thrashed the NRL in comparison with their ratings of their Grand Final,” he told SEN’s The Captain’s Run.

“To go through all that pain to get that success and then just to go back to the same old, same old 2:30pm Saturday afternoon timeslot … personally I think it’s a massive, massive mistake.

“I’ve told everybody who wants to listen to me in the AFL that – the Commission, management, Gill McLachlan, everybody I can – and I understand my advice has fallen on deaf ears, and that’s okay, you win some you lose some, I’ve clearly lost this one.

“But I still maintain for the future of our great game, it’s vital that we bite the bullet at some stage, and we take this challenge on.”

Cochrane explained why a twilight Grand Final is the “ultimate answer” and a “win-win” for all concerned.

“I thought the compromise was, why don’t we go for twilight? Twilight sort of solves everybody’s problem, you start the game around 5:30pm so kids can be in bed on time and all those issues,” Cochrane said.

“In Melbourne, you get the best of both worlds if you’re in the hospitality industry, because you can have a big lunch trade and then you can have a big dinner trade – everybody could be in a restaurant by about 8:30pm that evening.

“So I saw twilight as a real win-win. You’ve pushed the game into primetime ratings time, you’ve pushed half-time into a blackout period, so you can do a magnificent piece of entertainment and showcase again our great sport and the talent we have in our country.

“I think twilight is really the ultimate answer and it really wins and ticks nearly everybody’s boxes, but it wasn’t to be.”

The 2021 Grand Final will be played on Saturday September 25th at the MCG.

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