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The phone call Dees CEO made to the AFL immediately after Grand Final triumph


A Grand Final rematch is well and truly on the cards for round one, according to Melbourne CEO Gary Pert.

The Demons played the Western Bulldogs in a famous Grand Final earlier this year, Simon Goodwin’s men coming back from three goals down in the third quarter to record a 74-point win.

The game was relocated away from the MCG and played in Perth due to Victoria’s timely lockdown.

Melbourne broke a 57-year premiership drought by winning the clash, however couldn’t celebrate with the majority of their fan base at the time.

After the win, Pert was straight on the phone to the AFL, making plans for fans to enjoy the contest next year.

“We’ve been pretty strong on the fact that when we’d played in the Grand Final over in Perth, and that was a magnificent experience for all Melbourne supporters but the majority of our supporters are in Melbourne and they missed out on something they’ve been dreaming of for a long time,” he told Sportsday.

“So, I was straight on the phone to the AFL and said, ‘We really should be, for the good of the Melbourne and Bulldogs supporters, putting together a rematch’.

“Put it in the first round, make it exciting, we can unfurl the flag, and there’s certainly a lot of excitement about it.

“The fixture’s not confirmed but I would suggest it’s highly likely to happen.”

The AFL is yet to lock in next year’s fixture but it’s understood the league is contemplating breaking from tradition and kicking the season off with a Wednesday night fixture.

With the regular Carlton versus Richmond game likely to remain on Thursday night, it leaves two options for the Grand Final rematch to be a big-ticket event: Wednesday night on Friday night.

Pert confirmed the club was considering both but was especially excited about the idea of opening the season.

“They (Wednesday and Friday night) are two really strong options, we’ve been firm that both work for us, they’re both the opportunity to build big blockbuster games,” he said.

“Wednesday is something that normally most clubs wouldn’t think about, but we want to kick off the season, we want it to be something that not only the MCC but Channel 7 and the AFL get behind and build it into something pretty special to launch the season.

“So that’s why we were open to exploring the idea of Wednesday, and like I said, Friday has got a lot of merits as well.”

The full fixture is reportedly expected to be announced in the near future.

Melbourne Western Bulldogs

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