AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has revealed the league's financial losses during a coronavirus-impacted 2020 were less than $100 million.

McLachland revealed there were fears the AFL would suffer a mammoth $965 million hit in lost revenue when the competition went into lockdown in March.

But the AFL has thankfully avoided catastrophe, with the 17-round premiership softening the financial blow.

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"I think the industry's done an amazing job, and I want to thank everyone who made a commitment to get us there," McLachlan said.

"Staff, players, supporters, members keeping their memberships in, corporates, sponsors, broadcasters, everyone did their bit.

"The industry revenue was down substantially, but through the hard work of all those groups I mentioned we're going to come out (with) aggregate industry losses that'll be under $100 million.

"That is certainly a long way from where we thought, and that's across all clubs and the league."

Richmond celebrate 2020 AFL Grand Final victory.
Richmond celebrate 2020 AFL Grand Final victory.


Speaking to NewsCorp in October, AFLPA boss Paul Marsh said Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to allow players to relocate to her state saved the season.

"That was a moment of great unknown when the virus was closing in on Melbourne and everyone had to get out. NSW had numbers growing and we weren't going to play in NSW," Marsh said.

"Everything was relying on Queensland and thank god they came through."

The 2021 premiership is expected to have a traditional 22-game schedule, but could once again feature a coronavirus-inspired Footy Frenzy, where fixtures are played every evening over several weeks.

Originally published as AFL avoids $965 million catastrophe


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