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Dees have earned the right to play home final at the MCG if they choose: King


If a team earns a home final and wishes to play it at home, should they have the right to do that even if the venue is empty?

It was reported last week that 17 of the 18 AFL CEOs agreed that prioritising fans over home ground advantage was the way to go, but the one to disagree was Melbourne’s Gary Pert.

Given the Demons are certain to host a final, be it a Qualifying Final or a Semi Final, David King believes they have earned the right to choose an empty MCG over a week’s quarantine and a capacity crowd in Perth/Adelaide or the blustery conditions of Tasmania.

“I can understand the frustration (of the clubs). ‘Tell us where we are. Are we going to have one final in Tasmania and then head off to Perth?’ Why don’t we all just go to Perth at the start of the finals and just have a month over there and hope the ground holds up,” King told SEN’s Whateley.

“If Melbourne wants to play at a vacant MCG and they’ve finished on top of the table, then I think they’ve earned that right.

“Otherwise, what have we done for 23 rounds?

“I just think a club’s sole responsibility is to give themselves the best chance to win the premiership.

“If that’s the best opportunity you think to win a flag … in 20 years time, no one is going to be consumed by how much money was made or lost or how many people were actually there.

“Clearly everyone wants to play in front of a full house in Perth, that’s the best option, and if you can have the whole finals series there, then great.

“But I’m just not sure that taking games everywhere to pick up a crowd, what are you going to get in Tasmania, 16,000 people?

Gerard Whateley however disagrees, believing the AFL must prioritise having fans in the building.

“I don’t agree with that. I watched that Derby yesterday having watched footy all weekend with no one there, a Qualifying Final shouldn’t be played in a vacuum,” Whateley said.

“Find a ground that can be somewhere near full.

“(Playing in Tasmania) is better than an empty MCG. They are soul-destroying games and the pinnacle of your season shouldn’t be played in a vacuum.”

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