Last
night the MCC Trust and the AFL reached an in-principle agreement for the MCG to give up its right to host at
least one preliminary final at the stadium each year.

AFL
chairman Ron Evans and his CEO Andrew Demetriou met with MCC Trust chairman John
Wylie at a specially convened meeting to finally
settle what has become the AFL’s greatest running sore. It had looked to have
reached an impasse in recent days and caused a huge outcry that yet another year
of finals’ injustice could be visited on the increasingly successful
non-Victorian clubs.

“We’re
going to take the details back to our respective boards and we expect to meet
again probably early next week to attempt to finalise the matter,” said Evans, as the Herald
Sun
reports here.

But while
there was still 27 years to run on the previously struck deal between the AFL
and MCC that formed the basis for the funding of the Great Southern
Stand redevelopment, there has been massive pressure building to get the deal
done. Not only from the disgruntled and disadvantaged non-Victorian clubs and
fans, but state premiers also eagerly seized on the issue as a political
football that Victoria was fated to lose.

This
pending agreement could ultimately see no Victorian-hosted finals in the first
week and, in a worst case scenario, no finals until the Grand Final.

The
MCC is being compensated by way of more, and better quality, home and away games.

Peter Fray

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