Malthouse Slams AFL Over Blowout Results
Following a number of blowout results in the AFL over the last few weeks, Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has warned that such thrashings may be detrimental to the game.
There have been a number of huge victories in the AFL in the last few weeks as teams at the top of the ladder gear up for finals while teams at the bottom are looking forward to their end of season trip
There have been four 100+ point victories in the last three rounds of footy. Collingwood notched up their third biggest win in history against Port Adelaide (138 points) while Geelong trounced an undermanned Gold Coast by 150 points on the weekend.
The weekend before Geelong dished out one of the biggest thrashings ever when they belted the Demons to the tune of 186 points. The week before that, the Adelaide Crows were held to just three goals in a 103 point loss to St Kilda.
In fact, over the last three rounds of football, the average winning margin has been 56.8 points. That could have been even higher if not for two games that were decided by a kick after the siren.
Following Collingwood’s demolition of the Power at the weekend, Malthouse said that neither players nor fans benefited from such lopsided score lines.
“I just think the score line at the moment in AFL football has to be a worrying trend for the AFL. This is not going to bring football people to the football,” Malthouse said.
“Most people would have turned it (Collingwood VS Port Adelaide) off. Collingwood people probably wouldn’t, but I don’t know what we go out of the game.”
Malthouse also suggested that the AFL investigate ways to reduce the length of times that games run for.
“I’ve said it before, the game’s too long – far too long. A lot of quarters go 30 plus minutes, how does that work out?” Malthouse said.
“There is a multitude of areas that you can reduce game time where people don’t get sick of blowouts or get bored with the game. Most top line sports in the world are over within an hour and a half. We’re playing two hours. We might murder our game in its present state.”
Malthouse also suggested that the AFL look at how next season was scheduled so that Gold Coast and Western Sydney weren’t subjected to multiple games against powerful clubs.
In total there have been nine games so far this season that have been decided by at least 100 points, and AFL Operations Manager Adrian Anderson said that the number of thrashings could increase next season with the introduction of Greater Western Sydney.
“We may well have more lopsided score lines next year and that’s part and parcel of getting two new teams into the competition,” Anderson said.
“We decided we would get these clubs to build principally by draft picks, and no doubt there’ll be a period of adjustment while they find their feet – particularly when you’ve got dominant teams like Geelong and Collingwood.”
Anderson also said that the AFL was prepared to take some hits in the short term to ensure the long-tern health of the code.
“Expansion is absolutely vital for the future of our game. We need to think on terms of the next five, ten, 20 years – not just day to day,” he said.
“There will be a period of adjustment but it’s definitely for the better of our competition in the long-term.”
While many in the AFL industry expected the Gold Coast Suns to struggle in their first season, it is the hidings being handed out to the established clubs that should be of the most concern to the AFL, especially seeing as the next draft will again be severely compromised because of the picks afforded to Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast.
In the last three rounds (that a total of 27 games), a total of seven games have been decided by more than ten goals, however only one of those matches featured the Gold Coast.
And after the Suns broke even in the second half in round 18 against Collingwood, many are asking whether the expansion clubs should have a lottery on the top draft picks for the next two years.
Former Port Adelaide champion and South Australian media commentator Josh Francou says the AFL should take another look at the draft policies, especially in light of how Port Adelaide are travelling.
“With the new clubs coming in and the compromised drafts, there were concerns about how that was going to spread the talent pool and make it harder to get your hands on some good quality players. And the reality is that has really hit home for Port Adelaide,” Francou said.
“They just don’t have access to top-quality youngsters. If they can’t qualify for a priority draft pick then that would be a massive blow for Port Adelaide.”