Media Release

Statement from SANFL CEO Darren Chandler

June 21, 2024

In response to the AFL Competitive Balance Review, SANFL has continued to review the structure of the SANFL competition, in particular the conditions that apply to the Adelaide and Port Adelaide Football Clubs.

This review has focused on the long-term growth of the SANFL competition and the sustainability of the eight SANFL clubs, while considering the AFL Clubs and the best overall structure for football in South Australia.

We are continuing to work closely with the AFL and have been in regular discussion over the past six months about the best structure for football in SA and how the strength of the SANFL competition and its clubs can be maintained. Consideration also has been given to the different conditions that apply to AFL Reserves teams in the various competitions that they compete in around the nation.

Every year, the SANFL reviews the rules that apply to the Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs.  This year, the review has been accelerated on the back of the AFL Competitive Balance Review.

In reviewing these rules, the League remains committed to ensuring we continue to have the best competition outside of the AFL, and one in which every club can be competitive and have very chance of winning a premiership.

SANFL has provided its detailed submission to the AFL, highlighting that it does not support a National Reserves competition and that it believes the best structure for football in South Australia is to have the two AFL Clubs in the SANFL competition.

SANFL met with representatives of the AFL, Adelaide Football Club and Port Adelaide Football Club this week to better understand the initial findings from the Competitive Balance Review, as it relates to second tier competitions, with a specific focus on the two SA based AFL Clubs.

No decisions were made at this meeting, with the feedback to be discussed with all SANFL clubs and the SA Football Commission to determine what is best for the SANFL competition and football in South Australia.

SANFL will complete its review over the coming months, which will involve discussions with SANFL clubs, the AFL, Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs, other State Leagues and clubs around the nation.

As the oldest competition in the nation, established in 1877, we are extremely proud of the rich traditions of our State League competition and will ensure this is protected. We are also proud of SANFL’s reputation as being the best competition outside of the AFL and are committed to maintaining this position into the future.


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