Cats denied GMHBA Final

Cats denied GMHBA Final

GEELONG coach Chris Scott has backed the right of the AFL to schedule his side’s home finals at the MCG and not at GMHBA Stadium.

But Scott has suggested it could set a precedent for future finals being taken away from poorly-drawing clubs.

The issue of where to play Geelong’s home finals has cranked along all year as the Cats zero-in on a top-two finish, which would guarantee them two home finals.

On Wednesday, the AFL killed any prospect of Geelong’s matches taking place on their home deck.

AFL fixtures chief Travis Auld told the Herald Sun maximising attendances would be the centrepiece of the finals fixture, meaning the 100,000-capacity MCG would be Victoria’s finals venue ahead of GMHBA Stadium or Marvel Stadium.

Geelong’s executive team declined the opportunity to publicly state their disappointment at the decision, but coach Scott reacted to the AFL’s call at his weekly press conference later on Wednesday.

“They were definitive about maximising attendances for finals which is absolutely (the AFL’s) right,” he said.

“If they’ve made their call we’ve got no choice but to acquiesce.

“I don’t think it augurs well for the Gold Coast or GWS or some of the smaller Melbourne clubs into the future.

“But it’s their prerogative to decide what they prioritise.

“Whether I agree with it or whether football people in general agree with it, it’s probably beside the point.”

Geelong have hosted just one final at Kardinia Park in their history.

In 2013, they hosted Fremantle in a qualifying final and lost by 15 points before a crowd of 32,458 fans.

Since then, only GWS (at Giants Stadium) and Sydney (at ANZ Stadium) have drawn smaller crowds to finals.

Redevelopments at Kardinia Park means the regional venue can now seat 36,000 people.

Geelong requested to play all 11 of their home matches of the regular season at GMHBA Stadium this year, but the AFL scheduled two of the biggest-drawing ones – against Essendon and Hawthorn – at the MCG.

© AAP 2019