WESTERN Australia is clearly a little salty about the AFL’s decision to move its clubs to Queensland and the possibility the grand final could be held in the “NRL state”.
The AFL confirmed on Wednesday all ten Victorian teams will be based on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for as long as ten weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis unfolding down south.
The Premier is hopeful the move will lead to Queensland hosting the grand final and is actively pushing the idea to AFL bosses.
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“If Queensland is doing the heavy lifting, I think Queensland should have the first opportunity,” Annastacia Palaszczuk told Sunrise on Thursday.
“Fingers crossed,” she added.
The front page of The West Australian paper has launched a scathing attack against the idea of the major sporting showpiece being held in the Sunshine State, labelling it the “ultimate east coast bias”.
It also labelled Queensland the “home of rugby league and a B-grade stadium” as it tries desperately to get the final moved over to Perth’s new billion-dollar Optus Stadium.
The front page of tomorrow's The West Australian.
The paper has even launched its own petition on the matter, which is already gathering thousands of signatures.
“The West Australian is calling on the AFL to bring the footy Grand Final to WA in 2020 with capacity crowds looking out of reach for Melbourne in the near future,” the petition reads.
“With Victoria struggling to quell the spread and the powers that be no clearer on whether or not the MCG could host a capacity crowd come October 24, we believe WA is in the best position to host football’s big dance this year.
“For too long the AFL has pandered to Melbourne and the MCG – handing it a ludicrous contract to host the final until at least 2057.”
AFL boss Gillion McLachlan insists no decisions are being made on the future of the grand final just yet.
“My clearest position is to say the grand final is at the MCG until there are circumstances and reasons that it can’t be. And then we’ll make a different decision then. But we’re not talking about that today,” McLachlan said on Wednesday.