Both the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers are set to relocate east until further notice, according to reports.
While finer details were still to be worked through, foxfooty.com.au reported that the Gold Coast is looking likely to host the clubs in the first part of the season, while Victoria was a likely hub for them at some stage during the winter.
All 10 Victorian clubs have been handed exemptions by their state government to train at full capacity from Wednesday, providing they operate in exclusive facilities away from the general public.
The four AFL clubs in NSW and Queensland appear likely to receive similar exemptions, in line with those given to their NRL counterparts, but there are currently no exemptions in South Australia and Western Australia.
The AFL is hopeful the SA and WA governments will grant their respective clubs special permission to train or fly in-and-out of their bases for matches without serving mandatory quarantine periods upon re-entry.
Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula on Tuesday gave the green light to interstate clubs using Melbourne as a temporary base.
“We’d be comfortable with Western Australian teams being part of any appropriate quarantine arrangement (in Victoria) if that’s the way they choose to go,” Pakula said.
“I’m still hopeful that Western Australian teams can play in Western Australia and I’m sure that’s what the Eagles and the Dockers would prefer.
“But it’s a matter for (WA Premier) Mark McGowan and the Western Australian government, and ultimately for them and the AFL to come to a conclusion about.”
Gold Coast Football Club has been a strong advocate for its city to be used as a hub, and it appears the AFL has approved it for at least the Eagles and potentially the Dockers too.
“That is a decision for the AFL and those affected clubs but we have always said the Gold Coast is safe and has everything required to be a base for multiple teams,” Gold Coast Suns CEO Mark Evans told foxfooty.com.au.
“We would be happy to have other clubs based here to help get the season underway and they would enjoy being on the Gold Coast.”
– with AAP