Richmond V Dogs

Fans applaud the AFL, but their loyalty must be rewarded

The AFL Fans Association has thanked the AFL, clubs, players, and staff who have worked hard to ensure a season in 2021. It also wants the incredible loyalty of supporters to be rewarded.

Despite the pandemic, members have supported their clubs through two affected seasons. Most have
paid full or partial fees in 2020 and 2021, including many who missed games due to COVID-19. In
fact, they joined in record numbers this year with 1,113,441 paid up*.

AFL Fans Association president Cheryl Critchley says the entire AFL industry has worked hard to
ensure football was played. “We sincerely thank the AFL, clubs, players and staff for their hard work
and personal sacrifices made to give fans something to watch during the pandemic,” she says.

“Having AFL games on TV has been so important for fans, many of whom have been hit by repeated
lockdowns and in some cases lost businesses, jobs, and loved ones. Footy is a great diversion.

“Fans understand why they have been unable to attend games and that the Grand Final may have to
move again from the MCG. The pandemic has shown that what matters most is our health and
personal connections.”

Cheryl says fans’ loyalty must be recognised and rewarded, which some clubs have done with free
upgrades, signed jumpers and other incentives. Moving forward, the AFLFA would like to see:

• More Grand Final tickets for competing club members. When the MCG is full for a Grand Final, they only share 34,000 tickets, or 17,000 per team.

• Rewards for club, stadium, MCC and AFL members who have paid membership fees for
games they couldn’t attend, such as merchandise, bring-a-friend deals and if possible, club
• Better representation of fans in AFL decision-making, possibly on the AFL Competition
Committee. Grassroots fans have a good feel for what works on and off the field.

“Many diehards have paid money they can’t really afford towards memberships they could not use at
all in 2020 and have had limited use of in 2021,” Cheryl says.

“This is an opportunity for the AFL to show that it really does care about us by allowing more
members to see their team play in a Grand Final. Too many have missed out for too long.

“The AFLFA has always believed that members of clubs competing in the Grand Final should share
up to 50,000 tickets. These can be sourced from corporate tickets and those allocated to other clubs.

“We know finances are tight for clubs that raise funds by selling tickets in corporate packages. But
hundreds of thousands of club members have made big personal financial sacrifices to maintain their

Ten clubs broke their membership records this year. “This is a massive achievement and should be
rewarded in a way that really matters to dedicated supporters, such as allocating more Grand Final
tickets to completing club members,” Cheryl says.

For more information: Contact AFLFA president Cheryl Critchley or Treasurer and
spokesperson Ron Issko at