A few teams have sucked at being a footy team hard enough to have the league bail you out, but few have been so uncompromisingly shithouse while sucking down so much of the AFL’s money than the Gold Coast Suns, and today the league unveiled a frankly unprecedented rescue package that not only gifts them a bunch of elite junior talent on a silver platter, but right-royally cooks the draft for the 17 other AFL clubs for the next three years.

Ahead of the start of the 2019 Trade Period later this week, the league revealed the particulars of the Gold Coast’s rescue package, following a season where they chalked up just 3 wins and were the only side to concede in excess of 2,000 total points for the year.

Not only will the club be getting a priority pick after its first pick in the draft, meaning it now owns picks 1 & 2 in this year’s crop, but it will also be getting another pick at the end of the first round, meaning that in this year’s draft the Suns will have picks 1, 2, 15, and 20.

What’s more, the Suns are being handed a priority pick in the middle of round one of the 2020 draft, which is currently pick number 11. And in the 2021 draft, they’ll be given a pick at the end of round one as well, currently pick 19.

In addition to *all that*, they’ll be able to pre-list any players in their development academy without bidding, meaning those players effectively bypass the draft system entirely. The Suns academy zone will also be expanded to include Darwin and vast tracts of the Northern Territory, and their rookie list will be temporarily expanded to accomodate up to 10 players.

The only solace for footy fans rightfully wrinkling their brow at all this is that the package does not include any additional salary cap assistance.

That’s the reward the Gold Coast are getting for virtually squandering the ocean of concessions the AFL gave them when the club was initially founded, and for being a meandering, money-sucking shit of a team that hasn’t finished any higher than 12th in the nine years they’ve been around.

The solution? Really rather simple.

Fold the failing Gold Coast Suns immediately and give a license to Tasmania.

The official petition to impel the AFL to grant Tasmania a team now how 42,024 signatures, just under 8,000 shy of the ridiculous 50,000 benchmark the AFL set for Tasmanian team’s case to be seriously considered.

A fully professional football team in Tasmania makes absolute sense. A ruddy pack of morons flopping about Surfers wearing WordArt graphics on boring red top does not.

Image: Getty Images / Daniel Kalisz