5 hrs ago
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Seven footy journalist Ryan Daniels lashes Victorian AFL clubs over ‘laughable’ travel claim

The star WA reporter shared an interesting detail about Essendon as he shut down the ‘absurd’ nonsense.

7NEWS reporter Ryan Daniels blasts Victoria's AFL clubs

Star 7NEWS sports journalist Ryan Daniels has blasted Victorian AFL clubs as the war over travel loads resurfaces.

The WA newsbreaker fired up on Seven after seeing a report that discussed the hot-button topic of travel for Fremantle and the West Coast Eagles.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: 7NEWS reporter Ryan Daniels blasts Victoria’s AFL clubs.

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Those two clubs clock up more miles than anyone else during an AFL season, typically flying out of Western Australia on a fortnightly basis and regularly heading to the other side of the country.

It has been a talking point for many a year and, as the AFL conducts a competitive balance review, the topic has raised its ugly head again.

But this time a report suggested that some Victorian clubs were arguing that the Dockers and the Eagles were “not disadvantaged” by travel burdens because they have access to “12 business class seats for every flight to and from the Eastern Seaboard”.

Daniels has called some Victorian clubs ‘petty’ as the debate over travel loads erupts.
Daniels has called some Victorian clubs ‘petty’ as the debate over travel loads erupts. Credit: Seven

“Therefore (Vic clubs are saying) they’re at no disadvantage for the travel burdens they take on each year,” News Corp reporter Sam Landsberger said.

Needless to say, that story was greeted with wild amusement and mild fury over in WA.

“For the Vics, this is absurd, even for them,” Daniels said.

“It might sound a little bit like a joke, but unfortunately it is not.

“A number of Victorian clubs are claiming West Coast and Freo aren’t disadvantaged by their massive travel load because, get this, they’re allocated 12 business class seats per flight.

“Now those seats account for less than one-quarter of the travelling party (and) suggesting a few seats up the front makes up for the travel toll is just laughable.

“If we’re talking just basic distance covered, Carlton will travel just 13.5 thousand kms this season, West Coast fly more than 58,000.

“Now last season the Dockers clocked more than 62,000 ks in the air ... and a quick look at Essendon, in their next 13 games, they leave Melbourne once.

“I could roll out ridiculous travel stats like this all day but really this is about quality and all teams having the same chance of winning premierships.”

The Eagles have defied the burden of travel to win four flags during their short AFL history.
The Eagles have defied the burden of travel to win four flags during their short AFL history. Credit: Getty Images

Daniels then put it on the AFL’s new CEO Andrew Dillon, saying the new era must be one of “true fixture equalisation”.

He also revealed Dillon had already admitted — during this year’s derby lunch — that it was in fact harder to win a flag from WA.

Since their inception into the AFL in 1995, Fremantle have only featured in one grand final (2013) and are still yet to taste premiership success.

West Coast first joined the competition in 1987 and quickly became a powerhouse, playing in consecutive grand finals in 1991 and 1992, and winning their first premiership after they defeated Geelong in 1992.

The Eagles have since won another three flags, in 1994, 2006, and 2018.

“The AFL clearly knows they need to do more. Now they must act and that starts by ignoring the petty complaints of a few entitled Victorian clubs who, quite frankly, shouldn’t have a say when it comes to the impact of travel,” Daniels said.

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