Jeff Kennett slams AFL for potential half-time reduction

SEN - Thu, 12th Dec 2019 - 0 Comments

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has slammed the AFL for their reported decision to slash the half-time break.

The AFL is seemingly set to institute a 15-minute half-time break in 2020, down from the traditional 20.

Kennett penned a letter to Hawthorn members where he took aim at the AFL – although he continually mentions half-time being changed to 10 minutes, rather than 15.

“The latest suggestion coming out of AFL House is to half the half-time break from 20 minutes to 10 minutes,” Kennett wrote.

“This, to me, suggests again that the AFL is out of touch with the most important element of the game – those supporters who attend games week after week in their hundreds of thousands – their customers.

“Attending a football game should be an experience that caters for all who attend.

“By cutting the half-time break to 10 minutes, one can only imagine the rush and confusion as the demand for the toilets, becomes impossible.

“To purchase a drink or any of the other foods on sale which children see as part of the experience is already a tight fit given the demand. A 10-minute break will make this near impossible to achieve unless, again, they miss some of the game for which they have paid to see.

“This then flows on to those companies that have paid through the nose for the concession rights to sell this food and drink. Their concession fees will have to be reduced substantially by any fall off in the volume of sales.

“Can anyone remember any member crying out to change the length of the half-time break, let alone a ground swell of demand for change. No.”

Kennett also denies the report that the AFL is receiving support for this change from within clubland.

“The AFL says the club’s generally support the reduction of the half-time break. No again. The CEOs were told of the change, the Club Boards have not been consulted,” he wrote.

“It is said the players and coaches welcome the change. Maybe so, but that is out of self-interest. No thought for those attending the grounds each week.

“Now the AFL say they will compromise and only reduce the break by five minutes, not 10!

“Something which is not broken, on which there was no consultation with the clubs, is being changed because of the demands of one ingredient in the AFL mix, the broadcasters. The public, the customers, again being treated with contempt.”

The Herald Sun reported on Tuesday that the AFL is set to go ahead with the half-time reduction from 20 to 15 minutes.