A start date for the 2020 Optus WAFL Premiership Season has been set as the first weekend in August following a productive meeting today between the West Australian Football Commission and West Australian Football League clubs.
Pending the further easing of group gathering restrictions by the State Government, a nine-round WAFL season will commence on the first weekend in August and conclude no later than a week prior to the AFL Grand Final.
Full details around the fixture, finals format, player payments and the financial model will be discussed over the coming days and finalised at a WAFC Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.
WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said that while there were still details to work through and confirm, it was exciting that a start date had been agreed to for the 2020 WAFL season.
“The WAFC appreciates the collaboration between the WAFL Presidents and CEOs at each club to reach an agreement during what has been a very difficult period with our industry facing significant financial challenges,” he said.
“I acknowledge that there is still some work to do before we get a season underway but it is a very positive step and I am excited we have been able to agree on a start date and some of the broad parameters of the season, with the balance of the details to be finalised at the WAFC Board meeting next week.”
“Decisions will continue to be based around expert advice and Government guidelines and it is possible games will start without crowds, however fans will be able to tune into a game each week live on the 7 Network.”
“We will also be commencing the WAFL Women’s season on the same weekend, with their season to run consecutively with the WAFL.”
“This is great news for all of the WAFL and WAFLW players, coaches and the many fans right across Western Australia.”
WAFL Council of Presidents Chairman Mark Stewart said he was looking forward to seeing the season commence in August and thanked the WAFC and all of the WAFL clubs for working constructively together.
“Our competition has more than 135 years of history and is an important part of our culture and heritage in Western Australia, so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to find a way to reach an agreement on playing in 2020,” he said.
“While it has been a year of great challenge for all of the WAFL clubs, this will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the competition and see our clubs get back to business.”
“I’m optimistic that we may also be allowed to have spectators returning to WAFL games before the end of the year, which will be a terrific opportunity for families to experience local footy and reconnect with their WAFL club.”