MCG backs down on finals stance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

MCG backs down on finals stance

By Roger Vaughan 02/08/2003 06:27:17 AM Comments (0)

The AFL backed down on its hard-line MCG finals stance after brokering a one-off deal for next year with Telstra Dome.

It is understood the Dome gave the league a release from a clause in their fixturing contract.

Under that contract, the AFL is supposed to play a first week final at the Dome if more than one of those four games is in Melbourne.

Now, the AFL is free to play two of the qualifying finals next year at the MCG and not use Telstra Dome at all.

Telstra Dome's help is understood to be a key factor in the league's announcement that it would implement the "banking" system with the MCG for this year's two semi-finals.

In late June, the AFL announced it would not bank any MCG finals this year, much to the dismay of the six non-Victorian clubs.

That followed a breakdown in negotiations between the AFL and the MCG over their controversial long-term agreement.

Under the agreement, at least one game per week in the four-round finals series must be played at the MCG.

It looms as a massive issue this September because, for the first time, all six non-Victorian clubs could make the top eight.

The banking provision means if the two higher-ranked teams for the semi-finals are non-Victorian, then the MCG will not be used.

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