A media release from the Fans’ Association. Your thoughts?

Fans should be represented at the AFL’s fan summit.

An AFL summit centred on the match-day experience is a brilliant idea but should include fans, the AFL Fans Association said today. The AFLFA would be happy to send a representative to the event, which starts tomorrow.

The AFLFA says the AFL’s new CEO, Gillon McLachlan, is already kicking goals with supporters and could further enhance this by inviting the AFLFA to represent fans at the summit, which will reportedly see clubs discuss issues such as ticketing, access to venue assets and food costs.
Following the AFLFA’s 2014 campaign against variable ticketing, awful scheduling, inflated food prices and the general corporatisation of football, the AFL has acted to improve the situation for footy diehards. Its 2015 draw is much more fan-friendly and has dumped several unpopular time slots.

Next year the AFL will also trial kick-to-kick after some games, consider curtain raisers and lift restrictions on the size of cheer squad flags. An AFLFA spokesperson says these moves are a hit with fans who are also pleased with the new draw.
“Gillon McLachlan should be applauded for listening to fans and for acting so quickly to improve their match day experience. We would also like to see him invite the AFLFA to this summit, as we can relay the thoughts and experience of grass roots fans. We are in constant contact with fans and have a good feel for their needs. Our committee members are also footy fans who attend games.”

High on the AFLFA’s agenda for 2015 is the scrapping of variable pricing, which made it more expensive to attend some games and contributed to a big drop in attendances at the MCG and Etihad Stadium. The AFLFA will also continue its push for more Grand Final tickets for members of the competing clubs.

The AFLFA thanks inaugural AFLFA president Brian Clarke, who has stepped down to pursue his international football interests, for his efforts in 2014. “We thank Brian for his initiative and his hard work this year, which helped put the AFLFA on the map. We wish him well.”

The AFLFA provides a voice for AFL fans across Australia on issues affecting them such as ticketing, rules, game times, commercialisation and memberships. AFLFA membership is free and fans can join at www.aflfans.com.au.

For more information contact: AFLFA spokespeople Anthony Nanfra on 0411 506 558 or Ron Issko on 0400 709 118.


  1. Cheryl Critchley says

    Thanks for posting guys! I’m back on board helping with media. The AFLFA has achieved a lot this year, which has been fantastic. But we need to continue to push issues such as an end to variable pricing and a better deal for fans of competing clubs in the Grand Final. Gillon McLachlan has been a breath of fresh air so far with his fan-friendly initiatives. Let’s just hope this continues and that fans really enjoy their “match day experience” next year. If so, they’ll be back on board and crowds will increase in Melbourne again.

  2. “in Melbourne”? VFLFA?

  3. It’s good that AFL is listening to fans’ voices. As I live in Sapporo, Japan, I am unable to attend any game at Docklands or MCG, so cannot comment on ticketing issues, car park issues or food issues. However I have heard fans’ comments on these issues and I hope they will be improved next year as I hope I can move to Melbourne soon and to go to St Kilda games. What AFLFA has done are great and I wish all the best to them. Regarding with Perter’s comment, if the summit is only held in Melbourne, it’s unfair for fans in the country sides in Victoria, SA, WA, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland. They should hold meetings in places where footy are played.

  4. David Zampatti says

    Common ground this time PB (any more news on the Eagle’s 2015 season team mug shot?).

    It might be about time that the AFLN-VFA stuck its scrawny far-away little hand up and asked whether “football fan” now means “Victorian football fan”.
    And, with its tiny voice, points out that the much-lauded “fan-friendly fixture” is the not particularly thin edge of a dirty great wedge being driven between the six or so big time Victorian clubs and everyone else. (That includes, of course, the four or five Melbourne clubs that scratch out a life below the salt, but haven’t they got the AFLCLCTNGASAFA to wave their hankies for them?)

  5. If I attended the summit, I would tell Eddie McGuire to share Friday night games with other clubs. I have checked the fixture and found that Friday night footy will be played mainly by big Victorian clubs (Collingwood, Carlton, Richmond, Hawthorn and Geelong). Even Essendon have one Friday night game. It’s unfair! Then the Bulldogs have no Friday night footy and St Kilda will have only one and it’s away! I don’t want to see Eddie’s world in the footy.

  6. Can’t help but think the AFLFA (can’t hide my disappointment that they could fit another L & A in that acronym) has appaling timing in terms of the fun and games last week (president leaving, web content disappearing). No doubt their activities in the last year have given a voice to a general level of discontent (felt particularly keenly in Melbourne) and the AFL has reacted to that. However, you can understand why the AFL might not make a seat available to what appears to be a volatile organisation of uncertain constitution.

  7. kath presdee says

    It appears to me that there are issues common to fans across the Board (price of tickets at stadiums, the fixture) and there are issues that affect some states/cities more than others.

    The match day experience in Sydney, however, is vastly different to the match day experience in Melbourne. We don’t have the same issues that fans at Docklands and the MCG do regarding ticketing and who gets to sit on which deck at whatever time. We’ve had kick to kick at Spotless ever since the Giants started playing there. My limited experiences at the SCG and/or the Olympic Stadium haven’t had the same angst that has been piled on Melbourne-based fans… although food is over-priced, which is a phenomenon not limited to the AFL.

    Like other posters above have stated, the game is played outside Victoria and not all fans are located in Victoria. The fans are not a homogenous block and I have concerns if the AFLFA is deemed to represent the views of all fans when it realistically focusses on the needs of the Melbourne based fan. That said, more power to the AFLFA if it can improve the match-day experience in Melbourne for its members.

  8. Well said, PB & DZ. When the AFL proclaim their ‘fix-ture’ as being “fan friendly” because they’ve given the big Melb teams more blockbusters against each other and more prime afternoon time-slots, that only means that they’ve taken those off someone else. They are not suddenly playing a 26-game season or having less night & twilight games for the TV networks. They’ve just dumped the least attractive slots off onto someone else.

    I find it disturbing that an organisation can claim to represent all footy fans, and then be happy when the AFL moves to favour the select privileged few.

  9. Mark Duffett says

    Agreed, Dave B, you’d want that in an organisation that’s going against the grain.

  10. Cheryl Critchley says

    Hi Peter. The reason the I mentioned Melbourne crowds is because they are the ones that were down this year. There is no interstate bias in that. The fact is, one of the biggest fan issues this year was variable pricing and crowds being down in Melbourne. Crowds were huge in Adelaide, for example, so it was not an issue there. It is so frustrating that a group of VOLUNTEERS tries to do the right thing and spend a heap of their own time and money for a common good, only for people to criticise when that group is inevitably imperfect. The AFLFA is literally dealing with organisations that have millions of dollars in resources, so has done a great job all things considered. No community organisation is perfect and it is difficult to cover all bases and all states, especially in the early days with very limited resources. If fans in other states want to become involved and help the AFLFA to better understand issues particular to them, they are welcome to volunteer their time as well.

  11. Hi Cheryl. I understand your point of view and didn’t know about number of spectators in Adelaide. Number of audience in Melbourne was dropped due to unpopular Sunday and Monday night games, I heard. It’s good to see these games are scrapped for the next season, including St Kilda hosting a game playing Carlton was moved from Monday night at Etihad to an Anzac Day clash in Wellington, NZ. It’s really sad to hear about circumstances in AFLFA. I wish I could help you earlier… Even it’s hard to form a community based organisation, we footy fans must speak up with issues. I think Gillon McLachlan is doing much better than big Andy. But we have right to express our thoughts to the league. Yoshi

  12. Cheryl Critchley says

    Thanks Yoshi. That is all so true and I appreciate your support. The group has a good core group of volunteers who will get it through the current situation and move forward. It will then need more people to help if it is going to fully cover all state issues. It is just too hard to cover everything with a voluntary committee. Those volunteers have spent hundreds of hours and their own dollars so far without complaint. Hopefully they will be joined by some more willing helpers in 2015.

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