‘Nonsense’: AFL denies concessions are Suns’ last hope
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has backed in the long-term future of the Suns, saying it was "nonsense" to suggest the expansion club was on its last chance.
The Tasmanian AFL task force is set to deliver its report to the AFL on a way forward for the state's own team by the end of 2019 but it won't be from Gold Coast relocation.
The Suns have a three-year package of extra draft picks but as McLachlan said, if they rapidly rise up the ladder the third season of extra selections could be removed from that suite of picks.
The Suns will receive an extra mid-first-round pick in next year's draft as well as an added selection at the start of the 2021 draft, plus zone allowances to Darwin.
McLachlan said Melbourne's experience - missing finals in the eleven season from 2007 to 2007 - showed it wasn't only expansion clubs that had long periods of struggle.
Asked the extra picks were the club's "last chance", he replied forcefully.
"No, that's nonsense. Clubs who are over 100 years old, over the last 10 or 15 years they have periods where they have struggled," he said.
"If you look at Melbourne they had 15 years of not getting it right. They played in a Grand Final in 2000 and then until last year when they made a prelim they had a long period of time without making finals.
"This is a very young club who made a couple of poor decisions, got some injuries and got themselves into bad shape and it's a tough industry at the moment.
"When you get on the downhill side with some kids getting picked off you can get into a bad spot.
"So they are not the only ones who have got themselves into bad shape in the next period of time."
The Demons were able to secure priority picks and AFL financial assistance to eventually turn around their on-field fortunes.
McLachlan said rival clubs wanted to know what picks the Suns would receive into the future rather than be "drip-fed" extra picks after applying for them each year.
"I think our clubs supported a strong helping hand to the Gold Coast. I got that from all the clubs and whether they think its big, what is implicit if you are going to give them a strong hand is some certainty," he said on an AFL podcast.
"Rather than drip feeding it, the guys made a decision on a three-year deal.
"If they are ahead of the deal the third year doesn't kick in but clubs can make plans around that.
"It was a progressive package of picks that says this club needs help and I think people want certainty over a two or three year period."