The AFL is set to move all finals fixtures for the first two weeks of the post-season out of Victoria as the state continues to grapple with outbreaks of the Delta variant, according to Eddie McGuire.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews extended the state's current lockdown until at least September 2 this week, causing many to believe that the AFL grand final would be shifted interstate for the second season running.
According to McGuire, the Victorian government has not yet given up hope of the showpiece event being hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the next two weeks vital in whether the grand final will be held.
"I believe that the state government of Victoria have now handed over to the AFL the opportunity to move the first two weeks at least of the finals out of Victoria in search of crowds," McGuire told 9News Melbourne. "I don't expect there will be a final in Victoria for the first two weeks."
"What we now have to look forward to is: can Victoria get out of lockdown in the next two weeks, which would then set up an all-in scenario for the Victorian government to go for a grand final still at the MCG.
"However, if we don't get out of that lockdown in the next couple of weeks, then the AFL will have carte blanche to be able to sell the grand final to whoever they would like to."
McGuire added that moving the grand final out of Victoria remains the state government's "Plan B".
"I think at the moment the Plan B for the state government of Victoria in negotiations with the AFL is to take on those negotiations, to speak to Western Australia for example, and set that up as Plan B," he said.
"They still want the MCG [for the grand final], but the first two weeks of the finals there will be nothing in Victoria."