AAP AFL

More players, not less: AFL players’ union

By AAP Newswire

AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) chief executive Paul Marsh believes clubs may need more players, not fewer, to deal with future congestion on the AFL calendar.

With clubs and the AFL under serious financial pressure due to the competition shutdown, there have been calls to cut playing lists by up to five as part of a leaner club model for 2021.

But Marsh believes the time between matches this season - when it finally gets underway - is likely to be shortened, while the break between seasons is also set to be condensed, making life tough for players even before cutting lists.

"We've always said our job's not to maximise the number of contracts for players it's to get the right number, but at this point in time we haven't seen any good arguments to suggest we need to cut list sizes," Marsh told Fox Footy Live.

"When we think about potentially how the next 18 months is going to play out, potentially we're bringing the two seasons closer together (and) we're compressing the breaks between games, so I think there's a very strong argument to say we're going to need more players, not less.

"We'd need to see some compelling arguments to suggest we need less players, but like everything at the moment we've got to remain open-minded and we'll keep talking to the AFL."

Among the scenarios the AFL is considering for the 2020 campaign is putting teams in several quarantined environments to play round-robin matches, an idea already called into question by the AFLPA president, Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield, on Tuesday.

"You're probably getting a bit of a step ahead here in that we haven't actually seen anything formal from the AFL on this issue," Marsh said.

"I think we've had some discussion with the AFL; I know it's one of the things they're thinking about but we need to understand what the proposal might be here and then we'll talk to the players about it.

"What I would say is that players are absolutely committed to try and work with the industry to get this season away and try to get as many games as possible as we can."