Sydney Swans coach John Longmire has warned the AFL it dangers jeopardising future generations of the code in New South Wales if it opts for “saving the sport” slightly than attempting to develop it.
The AFL reported a $22.8 million loss after COVID-19 ravaged the sport’s funds, which led to job losses throughout the trade.
Each Sydney and GWS’s losses throughout that interval added as much as greater than $10 million – Longmire mentioned that, though cost-cutting was comprehensible, there was a restrict to how a lot floor NSW might cede earlier than its AFL future is imperilled.
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“It’s one factor to chop prices, however in the end if you happen to don’t make investments it would price you extra,” Longmire informed AAP.
“What does the sport appear like submit this era? How far ahead are we wanting?
“The subsequent technology of under-18 footballers; the budgets have been minimize considerably. We nonetheless want these youngsters coming by way of for the expansion of the sport.
“We will’t afford to let that die or not let recruiters have any sources as a result of the following technology goes to undergo.”
Longmire has spent almost twenty years in NSW after a glittering profession at North Melbourne and has been the Swans’ senior coach since 2011, delivering a premiership in that point.
With the AFL persevering with to try to break by way of in NSW and Queensland, historically non-AFL states, Longmire mentioned the league confronted a defining second in its method to the areas.
“The longer we keep in ‘saving the sport’ mode, the extra steps again we soak up competitors for a number of the greatest athletes and loads of eyeballs within the northern states,” he mentioned.
“I’ve seen when it was shunned as a sport up right here; when an AFL ball could be confiscated by workers at faculties.
“I’ve seen unbelievably vital development. We don’t wish to take a backwards step now, as a result of rugby league and rugby union received’t.”
On Tuesday, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was in Brisbane to announce a joint $8 million funding enhance with the Queensland authorities to assist improve sporting amenities throughout the state.
Requested about Longmire’s feedback, McLachlan maintained that league headquarters was doing every thing it might to develop the sport.
“There’s a easy actuality that our development means right here in Queensland and significantly jap Sydney and metro Melbourne that amenities are certainly one of our best challenges,” he mentioned.
“I‘ve spoken to John about that … we’ve got folks in each state whose full-time function it’s to supply new grounds or funding for upgrades.
“It is a pitch to native governments that this (footy membership) is the engine of so many communities and we want your assist.”