Footy Almanac Plebiscite

As a general proposition, is it reasonable and equitable that the team that finishes 2nd at the end of the home and away season has the right to play a final on its home ground, against the team that finishes third?





About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Umm, when eight of the teams won’t ever get to play in a GF in their home state … that’s inequity

  2. Cat from the Country says

    Yes. Interstate teams always play at home.
    It is all to do with money for the AFL

  3. Georgie Howitt says

    Yes it is. This is a disgrace. Now the Hawks are out, I’m right on board with the Cats, Dips.

  4. Suck it up Sleepy Hollow. It’s your own fault for living down there.

  5. John Butler says

    Yes. Absolutely fair.

  6. Matt Quartermaine says

    Sure is Dips until Geelong rename their home ground Jon Snow Stadium then everyone will want to play there.

  7. No. Not fair. But nothing new in that. Geelong are routinely on the end of the AFL’s commercial expediency.
    Had Richmond come 4th, there would be no question about their requirement to play the game in Adelaide.
    Seems there are rules for some clubs but not for others. AFL shuffling a dodgy deck again.

    Win it anyway, Cattas!

  8. Hey the draw is a farce with 2 many teams in Vic its in reality a extended,vfl comp might as well have the finals draw as much as a joke

  9. Yes, but only if they don’t play their home games in a sardine can

  10. A final in a sardine can like Spotless, perhaps?

  11. Chris Weaver says


    The convention has been home state since 1991 and neutral venues for Victorian sides since 1897. The 2013 Kardinia Park final was a necessity and an anomaly due to the pressures of there being four finals in Victoria that weekend.

    The way the Cats are whining about this Qualifying Final, you’d think they’d been asked to play at Punt Road.

  12. Is it reasonable and equitable that one Victorian team gets to play their home games at a venue that delivers a profound home ground advantage (look at the stats) while the rest of us battle it out on effectively neutral venues?
    Was it ever reasonable and equitable that all finals were once played at the biggest and best ground as a matter of course and never mind that Melbourne played its home games there?
    Was it ever reasonable and equitable that at some point, the AFL abandoned this principle of neutrality and decided that “home ground/state advantage” should actually count for something?
    Was it reasonable and equitable that the one final played at Geelong resulted in a loss to the home side? Surely they should have been allowed to challenge? (That used to be allowed – once).
    Point is – the plebiscite question is flawed. “Reasonable” and “equitable” are not the same thing. Scheduling finals has generally been “reasonable” over the years, but rarely if ever “equitable”.

  13. That’s spot-on CW. But we wouldn’t countenance playing such an important match at Punt Road. The Pyramid Building Society Oval has a capacity of 34,000. The Home of Football has a capacity of 100,000. Is it equitable that 66,000 fans are locked out of what is looming as one of the matches of the year? The answer is clearly NO.

    Besides, it’s traditionally where we’ve played Finals except for when The G was occupied during the War and in 1991 when the Olympic Stand was being restructured. Or back in the VFL days when there was a clash of finals’ venues – the lesser drawing match would be played out at Arctic Park. And the appalling football league is always about the money.

    And you’ve nailed it too Stainless. It’s a push poll. Equitable indeed. I’m sure we would have all expected better from someone of Dip’s unimpeachable integrity, but parochialism does strange things to people. Or are we to sense a touch of collective agoraphobia emerging down at Sleepy Hollow?

  14. Daniel Flesch says

    Spot On as usual , Mr. The Wrap ( the UNusual occasion was when you confidently assured me in the pre-season that mature recruit Tyrone Vickery would prove an asset to Hawthorn when in fact he has been serviceable only to Box Hill ) But to get to the point : Surely a major factor in the scheduling of the match at the G rather than at the now not – so Sleepy Hollow is the crowd capacity , or more accurately , the lack of it How many annoyed Geelong supporters would be locked out if the game was held there ? How huge a riot of the similarly locked out LSPRF would ensue ? ” Parochialism does strange things …” Indeed.

  15. If Richmond are the “away” side, should they be allowed to wear their normal guernsey, as per 2014 in Adelaide? And The Geelongs change to their away one?

  16. Thanks to those who answered the question asked. There are an enormous amount of red herrings and side issues addressed here (some going back to 1987!!) which have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    According to the stats, and after deleting irrelevant comments and arguments (weren’t we always taught at school to answer the question asked, not the question we wanted asked?) it is obvious that 98.7% of people believe that Geelong should play Richmond at Kardinia Park.

  17. All finals should be played on genuinely neutral grounds for “fairness and equity”. Subiaco is available for the Cats and Tigers in a fortnight. Travel? Get used to it like the rest of us.

  18. Old mate! Really?

    As as MCC member who wishes to see as much footy as possible played at the G, it’s a resounding NO from me.

  19. Ah, Mr B. I see the rays of the ever-warming Sun have reached the westerly edge of the Fatal Shore. And I like your call for a neutral ground. Have you run that one past Hologram Man and the Gnomes Deep in The Bowels of Jellymont House yet? Let me know how you go with it, and if you like, I’ll run it past Benny Gale for you.

    And I hear congratulations are in order. Well done Weagles. Are we likely to see you spreading your wings on this side at any stage?

  20. Dips, you should be counting the votes in the next presidential election in Kenya or the Philippines.

  21. Just a note to Cat from the Country:
    “Interstate teams always play at home”. Sorry, incorrect. Sydney was forced to play at Homebush last year when it should have had the home ground advantage at the SCG.

  22. Yes. If a team that finishes 6th gets a home final, I would have thought a team finishing 2nd would be entitled to a home final too.

  23. Grant Fraser says

    “always back the horse named self-interest, son. It’ll be the only one trying” – J Lang.

    I am untroubled by playing as many games as possible, and as many interstate teams as possible in the Grand Final, at the MCG.

    R G Fraser
    MCC membership #125010
    Hawthorn Football Club Member #13537482

  24. To Jan C – yes, I totally agree: the AFL showed their customary lack of integrity playing that game at Homebush. Similarly their expediency was on display when Geelong played Freo at KP during finals a few years ago. Geelong and KP were a handy loophole re lack of venues in Melbourne (or, as Chris W suggested, were “an anomaly”). Sold to the public as a boon to Geelong but certainly NOT as doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.
    Expediency is AFL routine.
    Geelong play only 7 home games at KP during the home and away season. Interstate clubs enjoy a better deal than that. Geelong play more games at their opposition’s home ground than any other team. Every year, they play interstate 6 times – on average more than any other Victorian team. And they certainly do not have the luxury of playing 15 games during the home and away season at their home ground.
    But I digress and, as Dips stated, am answering a question that wasn’t asked.
    The truth hidden in plain sight – as pointed out by Piffy – would mean “a team finishing 2nd would be entitled to a home final too”.
    Thank you Dips, for stirring the pot. A lot of hypocrisy bubbling to the surface in this murky soup.

  25. mickey randall says

    Sorry I can’t comment here Dips. It’s 2017 and if you supply an address I’ll mail my considered view within a fortnight, dependent upon Australia Post and their business model.

    This is how our nation does a plebiscite.

  26. How times have changed. Richmond used to have to play all their finals at VFL Park in the 1970s lest they get an advantage by playing at the MCG. They still managed to win in 1973 and 1974. Last time Geelong played a final at home they got beaten by Fremantle. If they lose this week the club and supporters will be whinging.
    Get over it, of course it makes sense to play at the MCG. They play 3 or 4 home games at the MCG each year and why wouldn’t the AFL want 95000 there rather than 33000.

  27. Cat from the Country says

    Opps sorry Jan, but you still played in Sydney!

  28. But we have a beer and a laugh about it all.

  29. Have you driven down the Geelong Road lately Cat? Geelong’s a suburb of Melbourne. The Geelong Flyer is on a milk run loop shuttling people to and from the CBD.

    But are we detecting a touch of nervousness oozing from the pores of The Sleepy Hollow Faithful? What ever happened to we play The Game as it should be played — at home & far away?

  30. Yes…and the cats actually wearing blue shorts would be lovely.

  31. Mark Duffett says

    No. What Swish and Chris Weaver said. Sorry Dips, but it really is the wrong question. As a matter of material importance, the merit order is:

    Home State


    Home ground

  32. Good call MD. Daylight’s the big one for me. Hologram Man is pushing for a night GF. Better make that your next plebiscite Dips.

  33. Dave Brown says

    It always bothered me that Footy Park was significantly closer to Port Adelaide than it was Norwood, but there you go. Understand your frustration, Dips. However, also can see perspectives of other people who would like to go to game that would be locked out of Kardinia Park. Are a home ground advantage or the interests of 50,000 footy punters more important? I don’t think there’s a simple answer. In short, (haha, like I’m ever short) I believe the history of home ground advantage in football is sufficiently garbled that the current approach can never make sense, so in that context this decision is consistent.

  34. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Dips, shouldn’t the Cats v Tigers final be played at Werribee? Neutral venue geographically…

  35. You’d go along with that, surely Dips.

  36. Wrapster – when the Tigers eventually finish on top of the ladder and have to play Essendon at Etihad Stadium (because a Taylor Swift concert is being held at the MCG) don’t come crying to me.

    All I have been talking about here is the principle of the matter, but everyone else has dragged the issue across to the Cats v Tigers game. Go figure?

    I still have not read or heard one balanced, considered, even intelligent reason why Geelong should not play at Kardinia Park. Plenty of noise and bluster, and “its not fair because we had to play Carlton at the MCG in 1974” crap. but no good reason. Fascinating really.

  37. This is not about logic or equity , this is gamesmanship Old Son. You want matters settled by logic, & rhetoric, join a debating team.

  38. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hey Dips, here’s your opportunity to provide as many balanced, considered, even intelligent reasons why Geelong should play at Kardinia Park.

  39. John Butler says

    Is this the difference between bankers and accountants? Being able to tell between principal and (self) interest?

  40. Swish – my aim is not to make a case, but to discuss a principle. The AFL operates on the principle that teams finishing higher on the ladder get rewarded. Is this a reasonable principle? If so where is the reward for this year’s second placed team? Is it unreasonable for Geelong to expect a home game? Is it unreasonable that the Crows expect to play a home final?

    My beef is that we all know where the Grand Final is going to be played (rightly or wrongly) before the season starts, but we must wait to know where our team will play in September. Can’t they just make a policy before the season starts?

    Seems the AFL has core and non-core principles.

    JB – clever!

  41. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Sometimes principles get in the way of each other Dips.

    Doesn’t Geelong know at the start of a season that it won’t get a home final unless it is against a low drawing team?

    Agreed that it would help all of us if the (competing) principles were made transparent – that’s the real problem, isn’t it.

  42. “As a general proposition, is it reasonable and equitable that the team that finishes 2nd at the end of the home and away season has the right to play a final on its home ground, against the team that finishes third?”

    As a loaded proposition Dips the answer is of course yes.

    However, the AFL season aint reasonable and or equitable but year after year the best sides find themselves playing off for the premiership. (Especially 2013-15, for good reason I have forgotten about 2012). The best I can add and it is as balanced as the next joker is that by September the only ground I would want to play at is the MCG.

    Cheers, from the cheap seats

  43. Dave Brown says

    I understand there is a principle, Dips (of course, like much else the AFL does not make it readily accessible) which is the final is played in the home state of the higher ranked team at the venue best able to fit the anticipated crowd. Hence Sydney having played finals at ANZ (the SCG incapable of holding 60,000), the Bulldogs playing the Crows at the MCG (Docklands being incapable of holding 61,000) and Geelong playing Fremantle at Kardinia (although, arguably that should’ve been held at the Docklands). In this case Kardinia is incapable of holding 100,000 so is deemed as not the appropriate home state venue. That Geelong are able to play the game at another ground they frequently use as a home ground is indeed good fortune.

    So, to return to your proposition, the AFL’s answer is no because their policy is applied to home state not home ground. In the case of multiple venue states (not that we are talking specifics, of course), Victoria is the only state where this applies because (now ANZ is no longer an AFL venue) the Queensland or NSW teams at this point would not draw finals crowds small/big enough to need to use the other’s home ground. I shan’t make a value statement beyond that because it would be predictable and irrelevant.

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