AFL reaffirms commitment to 18-team competition

Gold Coast Suns Paul Kane/Getty Images

The AFL won't be walking away from either the Gold Coast or Greater Western Sydney, with league chief executive Gillon McLachlan committed to an 18-team competition.

The AFL has poured millions of dollars into both expansion markets despite complaints from the long-established Victorian teams and the fact that the two sides have only one finals appearance between them. That will become two appearances in a few weeks' time, however, when the Giants reach their second consecutive postseason.

The extra games in the fixture created by the presence of the two expansion teams is key to the AFL's bottom line, with McLachlan revealing it added a huge chunk of added revenue.

"If you include sponsorship and advertising, the figure climbs towards $50m," McLachlan told The Australian.

While the Giants are now one of the competition's heavyweights, the Suns are yet to seriously threaten the competition since their inception in 2011. They were in the headlines for the wrong reasons earlier this week after coach Rodney Eade was sacked with the club languishing in 15th place on the ladder.

The Suns have also lost three chief executives, as well as five high performance managers since the club's introduction to the AFL.