From Queensland Times

Reported by Jason Otto

The AFL has pulled the rug out from under the nine NEAFL clubs on the day the entire second-tier competition was scrapped.

As the AFL endured a dark day where approximately 20 per cent of its staff found out they no longer have jobs, the news that the NEAFL will not return in 2021 was largely overlooked.

For the Canberra Demons, though, it was a sucker punch.

According to The Canberra Times, the club wasn't even told about the killing off of the league before the AFL sent out a press release informing them the decision had already been made.

Demons officials found out at the same time as reporters around the country did.

"Charming. The @CanberraDemons find out the #neafl is getting scrapped when the @afl make the announcement," journalist David Polkinghorne posted on Twitter.

"Haven't discussed it at all, didn't even tell them they were announcing it! Feel for those @neaflofficial who lost their jobs today."

The report claims the Demons were "blindsided" by Monday's announcement.

The AFL announced the North Eastern Australian Football League will be merged with the Victorian Football League to create the premier reserve-grade competition in football.

How many of the nine NEAFL clubs live to see the competition become a reality remains to be seen.

The league said the reserve grade teams linked to the four AFL clubs in NSW and Queensland will continue in the VFL - but the futures of the five stand-alone NEAFL clubs is now uncertain.

Canberra, Aspley Hornets, Redland Bombers, Southport Sharks and Sydney University now have the dilemma of trying to survive in the beefed up VFL or merging with one of the existing clubs.

The clubs also have the option of spreading their top AFL-listed talent across multiple second-tier clubs.

Canberra player-coach Kade Klemke told the Canberra Times in June he feared the fallout for the ACT if the region's best talent is forced to move elsewhere to play at a higher level.

"I'm hopeful there will be a pathway here in Canberra and that will be the Canberra Demons," Klemke said.

"Fingers crossed we continue, whether that's in a new competition or the way it is. There is too much good talent in Canberra, I'd hate to see players leave the area.

"That's why there has been a Canberra Demons team, to keep players here. There are some really good footballers here."

The AFL said in a statement the decision to scrap the NEAFL will be met with a renewed focus on the talent academies belonging to the Swans, Giants, Lions and Suns to identify and develop young stars.

The 2020 NEAFL season was suspended in March as a result of the coronavirus before it was announced no second-tier competitions would return as the AFL did in July.

The Brisbane Lions will never get the chance to defend their 2019 NEAFL premiership after they went through the entire season undefeated.

Bearsman's picture

Just when you thought the arrogant AFL management clowns had made amateur and unprofessional their own, they come up with these two classics..

Canberra Demons find out via an AFL media release that their league has been given the khyber and they are out of business. No warnings and no discussion...they had no idea it was coming. Now they are waiting for the AFL to advise them of what options they have for the future. Dont hold your breath boys...

Just as bad is the 200 or so people who had lost their jobs at the AFL being informed by McGilligan via  zoom conference on his phone in his car.. of course the connection kept dropping out  "Gill, we can't hear you, you keep dropping out" lol  You couldnt make this up...

Barnum and Bailey have always claimed to be The Greatest Circus on Earth, but they mightn't be for much longer. Waiting with baited breath for the details on the new state league...


Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

I'm sure the folk at AFL House that have lost their jobs will be bemused by the AFL chartering three planes to take 400 people up to QLD today to decide where the Grand Final will be held. The list of passengers would make interesting reading, as there is only two players (Ablett and Edwards), some media, AFL execs & God only knows who else. I would assume that the decision has already been made, so what is the point of this very expensive exercise in the middle of a financial crisis for the AFL? Would also be interesting to know who are the recipients of the quarantine exemptions and the grounds for the exemptions. The tall, polo pony-riding chap sitting up the front of the plane would be one of them, no doubt. What a circus, as you have correctly pointed out Bearsman. 


Its looking more like only the clubs linked to AFL teams in Qld and NSW and maybe Southport  will join this unwieldy comp plus down the track of course there is Tasmania!

Another total balls up by the Australian Football LEAGUE who should't be running all of Australian Football around the Nation!

There should be an independent body in control like the former ANFC that has the interests of ALL football at heart not just one League..

vfa's picture

One hundred percent correct Billy. Australian Rules football should be run by a body like the former ANFC. Our gamed is called AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL and not AFL. There has been plenty of clowns in control of the VFL and now AFL. Getting worse all the time. Aylett who destroyed the VFA on a Sunday, Oakley tried to merge clubs, Jackson had no idea, Demetriou another with no idea and now the biggest clown of them all McLaughlin.


Spot on Wal, It makes me vomit when I look at the AFL's arrogance.

400 people on a fully paid junket half of whom would not the difference between a football & a cricket bat.


We might be from the bush. but we ain't green

vfa's picture

Return of deadly Ernest. Instead of Awful movies with deadly Ernest it is AWFUL FOOTBALL LEAGUE with Gilligan McLown.


How does Eddie Maguire's son get a guernsey on this junket ?

We might be from the bush. but we ain't green

vfa's picture

Eddie's son must be part of the circus. Not sure which of the clowns he represents ? Bozo, Kinko ??


Eddie's working on the Gold Coast Filming Millioniare Hot Seat because Melbourne's  Docklands Studios are closed due to Covid so he has a reason to bre there apart from the football.


At least the GF will be at night just like the PF's are every year!The TV ratings will be huge esp as there is no footy in Melbourne!Maybe hit the 4 million mark for the first time.