THE AFL Commission has informed all 18 of its clubs, including Nowra's Maddy Collier and her West Coast Eagles, the 2021 AFLW season will not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
All club presidents and CEOs were recently advised, following a recommendation by the football operations department, the sixth instalment of the competition will commence in February - including a nine-week home and away season and three-week finals series.
Player payments and the current AFLW football department 'soft cap' would be maintained as agreed previously, with the 2021 season subject only to how the Australian community was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at the time early next year.
AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder said it was their view that the AFLW was a significant growth area for the game and should not be subject to any reductions for next season.
Especially when you consider the competition was not able to be completed this year and the fact that AFLW spending within clubs was much smaller than the current spend on the AFL football programs.
The commission also hosted a meeting via video with club presidents and CEOs, where AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan provided an update on the game's collective financial situation, including the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the next steps for the industry to move through this challenging period.
"It is the commission's view that it is critical at this juncture to provide clarity to the AFLW clubs and players by demonstrating our ongoing commitment to women's football and the AFLW competition," McLachlan said.
"All 18 clubs were also given a detailed outline on the AFL's revenue forecasts for the coming two years and our outline on the continued work required to ensure the AFL and our clubs collectively are able to manage the significant debt incurred this year as a result of the impact of the pandemic
"The impact on revenue will continue to affect the AFL and the clubs over the next two years and it was agreed there needed to be a prudent approach in ensuring the code was able to continue to invest in growth, diversity and inclusion while also ensuring it returned to a sustainable financial position.
"I want to thank our clubs and the football community for the collaborative approach by the industry that has got us to this point and ensured we were able to return to play.
"We will need to continue to work together to ensure football gets us through the other side."