5 Common Misconceptions about AFL Membership
These misunderstandings about AFL membership sometimes pop up in the media, and often on talkback radio. The AFL Members Association (AFLMA) would like to clarify these often-misunderstood issues:
AFL Members are already members of the football clubs they support.
The 85% of AFL Members who take out the “Club Support Package” become members of their chosen club, and are counted as such in membership lists. Approximately $100 out of the $356 annual subscription goes directly to the member’s chosen club.
Over the years, AFL Membership fees have directly helped the VFL/AFL build and maintain Waverley Park, and underwrite the Great Southern Stand at the MCG.
2. AFL members were never guaranteed a Grand Final ticket (this is a line the AFL likes to push whenever the issue of Grand Final ticketing comes up.)
While the fine print in the current membership terms and conditions might actually state that entry to any game is “subject to capacity”, the AFL cannot deny that Grand Final entry was marketed for many years as the key benefit of taking out AFL Membership.
The AFL’s own surveys indicate the ability to attend finals was a major factor in people taking out AFL Membership. And until recently, upon being upgraded to Full Membership – which might have involved a wait of 10 or more years – members received a letter from the AFL congratulating them on now finally being able to attend “every final including the Grand Final”.
Last year the AFL granted Colonial Stadium Medallion Club members guaranteed seating in the AFL Members Reserve, jumping the queue of Restricted Members who have been patiently waiting for years and siphoning off up to 5000 seats from ordinary Full Members. While the AFL likes to blur the distinction – Medallion Club Members are often included in the total of AFL Members who received tickets – it is inappropriate to include them in the census as AFL Full Members:
· The AFL guarantees Medallion Club members a seat at the Grand Final, but does not for AFL Members
· They get a guaranteed seat at Colonial Stadium, and AFL Members do not
· Their membership card is transferable, and the AFL membership card is not. In fact AFL Members risk having their membership instantly revoked if it is found that someone else is using their card.
4. AFL members only attend finals
The AFL’s own surveys have found the average AFL member attends at least 10 matches in a season, a figure comparable with other Club members.
As explained above, AFL members are ordinary Club members and are among the game’s most loyal supporters.
AFL Membership is open to anyone. Members come from all walks of life, and include supporters of all 16 AFL teams. They are united by their passion for Australian Rules Football and love of watching the game – including finals – live.
All members have paid a non-refundable joining fee (currently $250) and many have spent years on both a waiting list and then as Restricted Members. In recent times, many AFL Members feel they have been treated shabbily by the AFL and that they are not receiving what they originally signed up for.