GEELONG coach Chris Scott says it’s disingenuous for the AFL to claim it’s fair to schedule the Cats to host finals at the MCG just because they play a couple of nominal home games there every season.
The Cats are short-priced favourites to finish the home and away campaign as minor premiers, guaranteeing them two home finals.
But league CEO Gillon McLachlan has flagged the likelihood of those matches taking place at the MCG rather than the 36,000-capacity GMHBA Stadium, regardless of the opposition.
“I think they play home games at the MCG,” McLachlan told SEN Radio on Tuesday.
“And I don’t think, per se, that’s an integrity or a fairness issue. It’s what we’ve always had as a best-fit policy.”
Scott took umbrage at McLachlan’s attempt to portray the MCG as the Cats’ second home ground, saying the club’s clear and stated preference was to play all of their home matches in Geelong.
“This is not really even a Geelong position; this just should be an industry- wide fact,” Scott told reporters on Thursday.
“There are 11 home games and there are 11 away games.
“Every club should choose where they play their 11 home games.”
While acknowledging that the AFL had to factor in bigger-picture issues such as the lucrative broadcasting deal and a commitment to maximise attendances, Scott said the “right thing” would extend to all clubs also hosting finals – other than the grand final – at the venue of their choice.
“Sometimes the right thing in isolation doesn’t end up being the right thing because all the other issues trump it,” he said.
“I completely understand all the difficulties around this.
“But let’s not try to soften what may well be the wrong thing by throwing in furphies like ‘well, as long as the home final is in the same state that’s OK’ or ‘they play a couple of home games there because we force them to so that’s OK’.
“I don’t think that’s a fair fight when you bring those things into it.”
Geelong’s second MCG home game this season is against Hawthorn on Sunday.
© AAP 2019