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Gerard Healy and Leigh Matthews discuss the ‘dire’ situation the AFL faces right now

Two of the AFL’s most influential media figures have launched a passionate plea to those involved in the game to work together in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

It comes after the AFLPA announced on Tuesday it now wanted the league to explore the possibility of a 22-round home and away season, despite Monday’s announcement the season would be 17 rounds.

“Is this the time for tennis?” Gerard Healy asked on 3AW.

The Sportsday host said it was incumbent on the league’s players to trust those making the decisions, given the future of the sport was at stake.

“It’s got to the point where the premiership is borderline irrelevant at this stage, it’s the survival of the bloody clubs, it’s the survival of the game,” he stressed.

Leigh Matthews agreed.

“I don’t know whether they (the players) realise how dire the financial situation is right now,” the AFL legend said.

“If you play 17 rounds – that means the broadcast rights are down about $100 million, lets talk round figures.

“Crowds aren’t at the games for the foreseeable future, that’s going to cost you another $100 million or so.

“So that’s $200-250 million that’s disappeared from the game, even if it all goes according to plan.

“I’d be saying to the players, pretty simply, you either take the 25 per cent pay cut, or you don’t play, and you don’t get paid.”

Click PLAY below to hear their discussion in full