Mick Malthouse says the AFL season should start from scratch when it resumes. Picture: Mark Stewart
Mick Malthouse says the AFL season should start from scratch when it resumes. Picture: Mark Stewart

AFL should scrap Round 1 points, start again: Malthouse

THREE-time AFL premiership coach Mick Malthouse has called for round one of the 2020 season to be treated as a practice match and disregarded when the AFL season resumes after the coronavirus threat subsides.

Malthouse said there would be too big a gap between rounds one and two for the first games, played between March 19 and 22, to be relevant.

Malthouse also warned that even a 17-round season would have an asterisk, called for a top six finals series and warned the AFL against cutting lists to anything lower than 40 because it would penalise interstate clubs like West Coast and Fremantle.

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"The round we have currently had has got to be a practice match. I cannot see how we can come back into round two let's say two months after the first game," he said.

"Round one should just be considered bad luck if you have had a good win.

"If you lost then it is good luck. It has got to be continuous. You can't have this big gap going into round two."

He said a 17 round season was the "bare minimum" but even that was not a genuine AFL season.

"There has still got to be an asterisk because it is not a true reflection of our current football season," he said.

 

Under Malthouse’s proposal, his former club, Collingwood, would lose the four points for its Round 1 win over Western Bulldogs. Picture: AAP
Under Malthouse’s proposal, his former club, Collingwood, would lose the four points for its Round 1 win over Western Bulldogs. Picture: AAP

Teams with heavy travel loads tended to have more injury problems with players taking longer to recover, he said.

"The travelling sides get harder hit by injuries and not only do they get harder hit, they take longer to recover. They are the ones who have got to suffer here."

And highly paid players had a "degree of selfishness" when it came to cutting lists and salary caps.

"I cannot possibly believe that we are talking lists of less than 40 players," he said.

"If there is a reduction in the salary cap.

"Let's say the AFL says we can only afford $10 million.

"There will be high quality, high numbers, high number of games players will be saying, cut the list to 35 but that is okay, I am staying on my contract and that can fit into the new $10 million.

"I don't think some players have a real feel for the 44th and 43rd player, they go well bad luck."

"I would say it is their bad luck. Fit 40 players into the $10 million cap and if the top player has to go from $1 million down to $750,000 then bad luck."

"You have got to have 40 players and then let the administrators fit those 40 players into the new salary cap because clearly we can't afford to keep paying $13 million."

"I wouldn't have any more than six teams play off in the finals - the old top six. It is totally compromised.

"Get the season over and done with so it doesn't start cutting into and interfering with 2021."