Their teams are mortal enemies, but Collingwood’s Jeff “Joffa” Corfe and Richmond’s Brett “Trout” Beattie will join forces tomorrow to urge fans to sign the AFL Fans Association’s Grand Final ticket petition.
Joffa and Trout will join volunteers on the path between Richmond station and the MCG from about 5.30pm as fans file into the Magpies-Tigers clash.
The AFLFA petition calls for competing club members to share 50,000 Grand Final tickets.
At last year’s Grand Final, club members got 30,000 tickets, MCC members 25,000 AFL members/Medallion Club 21,000, corporates/stakeholders 17,000 and AFL clubs 7000.
When Richmond and Collingwood last met in a Grand Final in 1980, Richmond won by 81 points in front of 113, 461 people. The MCG now holds just over 100,000.
The Tigers and Magpies now have more than 70,000 members each, so if they played another Grand Final only one in five members would get to attend.
“Richmond and Collingwood both have working class roots,” Joffa says. “It’s wrong that so many members would miss out if they made the Grand Final. The game must be returned to those who helped make it great.”
Trout agrees. “If Richmond makes the Grand Final after more than three decades, thousands of diehard members who have stuck with the Tigers through thick and think would not get a ticket,” he says.
“Adding salt to the wound, some of those tickets would go to corporates who had not attended an AFL game all year.”
AFLFA president Gerry Eeman says the Grand Final is now a corporate event with less atmosphere than it had when most genuine supporters secured tickets.
“With $2.5 billion in TV revenue coming, the AFL can afford to fix this by reducing the number of corporate tickets and buying the non-competing club allocation at corporate rates,” he says.
The petition, to be presented to the AFL Commission on July 1, is worded as follows:
The MCG holds more than 100,000 spectators, but only 30,000 AFL Grand Final tickets are allocated to competing club members. That’s only 30 per cent.
In comparison, the FA Cup in England is played at Wembley Stadium which has a capacity of 90,000 spectators, however 57,464 tickets are allocated to clubs competing in the FA Cup Final! That’s 64 per cent of tickets!! It’s time for the AFL to listen to fans on this issue.
Please sign this petition to send a clear message to the AFL that it needs to de-corporatise the AFL Grand Final and increase the ticket allocation to competing club members to at least 50,000. This petition will be presented to the AFL on 1 July, 2016.