Australian Football League CEO Refuses To Fund Cricket Victoria's Exit From MCG
Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou has refused to help fund cricket's proposed exit from the Melbourne Cricket Ground, "despite top-level talks putting pressure on the AFL to contribute" to the A$15M ($15.6M) shortfall needed to send the Sheffield Shield to a new home, according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Cricket Victoria bosses met Demetriou on the eve of the AFL season, launched in Adelaide and Perth last weekend, "with the MCG kept contractually vacant in case Victoria reached the shield final." The summer sport also held talks on Monday with the Melbourne Cricket Club, "which the AFL believes should pay the extra millions required to rebuild the Junction Oval." Demetriou: "We won't be paying any money for the development of the Junction Oval. We haven't got the money." Widespread frustration has accompanied the '13 season launch, with worse potentially to come next season, "when cricket could keep football off the MCG until April given the push for a revised calendar for the next summer of cricket which would push the Sheffield Shield final back another week" (THE AGE, 3/26).