Brave New World Order

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou today announced dramatic new initiatives to improve skill levels and player availability in the AFL.

“Now that we are an 18 team competition, it is clear that the AFL can no longer maintain the highest standards of skill and performance using purely local talent,” Mr Demetriou said.  “That is why the AFL and the Federal Government will require 20% foreign players in our competition from 2013.”

“This is not a new thing.  The AFL has pioneered initiatives with Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.  But like the rest of the country the AFL has come to realize that we are now a part of Asia.”

“Migrant footballers are nothing new to our sport.  We have had Brownlow Medalists like Jimmy Stynes and premiership players like Tadgh Kennelly.”

“Look at the contribution that Greek migrants have made to the North Melbourne Football Club and football administration,” Mr Demetriou said self effacingly.

“The 20% foreign player involvement will be achieved selectively, with a number of exciting initiatives involving different clubs.”

“The case for the shortage in local skill availability has been made clear by the horrendous decline in performance of the Melbourne Football Club.  From 2013 the Guangzhou Demons will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sino Australian Steel Corporation, and will play half their games in Guangzhou but their local fans will get to see them at the MCG on alternate weeks.”

“Current coach Mark Neeld will be stepping down at the end of the season, but will remain with the club in a support role after spending the off season at the club’s new Manchurian re-education and pre-season training facility.”

“Sun Tzu disciple Mick Malthouse will be the new coach of the Guangzhou Demons, and he will be joined by Guangzhou skipper Travis Cloke.  Half the team will be current Melbourne players, and the other half will be sourced from elite Chinese athletes.”

Mr Demetriou said that Guangzhou officials were confident that the morale and performance of current players would improve significantly under the new ownership.  Security would be a high priority for the team. Guangzhou officials had already spoken to Jack Watts and Aaron Davey, and assured them that they knew where their families lived.

Mr Demetriou denied AFL Players Association claims that the injection of foreign players was a back door attempt by clubs to circumvent the salary cap.  He said that foreign players would be paid at the same rates as locals.  Half that salary would be held in trust for them by the Sino Steel Player Retirement Fund, and invested for them until after their retirement.  He said that the AFL had strong assurances from both the Chinese and Australian governments that these funds would be returned to the players ‘in good time’.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said that this was an exciting time of transformation and change in the Australian economy, and the AFL needed to come on board in this process.  She said that she did not see any conflict of interest in her role as Chairman of the Board of the newly formed Beijing Bulldogs.

“Manufacturing industry in the western suburbs of Melbourne has been crying out for this sort of injection of cash and confidence for many years,” Ms Gillard said.

“I am confident that this move will significantly reduce local unemployment levels.  Particularly among Labor MP’s after the next election.”

Ms Gillard denied that she was selling off the farm to the highest bidder.  She said that she had spoken to the cross bench MP’s who control the balance of power, and assured them that local content and Australian employment opportunities would be preserved.

“Geelong are to be renamed as Katter’s Australian Team.  This will aid the growth of AFL in outback Australia, where the cry of ‘Go the Katters’ will now be heard from Kingaroy to Cairns,” Ms Gillard said.

“The Katters will be exempt from the foreign player requirement, and we are looking for local sponsorship of the team.  The Queensland sugar industry had offered to become major sponsors, but we have had to decline their kind offer after Wayne reminded me that we sold it to the Chinese five years ago.”

“I have also spoken to Ms Milne and Mr Bandt from the Greens, and they have agreed that they should formalize their links to the AFL Umpires Association.  The Greens have a strong tradition of responsible control of the balance of power in Australian governance,” Ms Gillard said.

“From 2013 AFL umpires will have ‘Go the Greens’ emblazoned on the back of their shirts.  I am confident that this initiative will assist with the Greens being regarded with the same respect and admiration as AFL umpires by the broad Australian community,” Ms Gillard said.

Ms Gillard denied that she was the most unpopular leader in Australian history.  “Opinion polls are not everything,” Ms Gillard said.  “I can think of many leaders of large organisations who are widely disliked, but get the job done.”  Mr Demetriou declined to comment.


  1. Lovely work Peter B, can’t wait for the follow up article about Saints going to New Zealand for home games. Just when we get relaxed and happy, something new to unsettle the waters. Maybe Julia is behind this too?


  2. Lord Bogan says

    Peter, apart from indigenous people, ALL players and fans are foreigners.

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