The AFL’s most underwhelming rivalry might have finally found a flashpoint.
A war of words has broken out on the eve of the Q-Clash over whether Brisbane or Gold Coast received the plushiest ride into the AFL.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch began the slanging match on Thursday, saying the Suns were handed far more draft and salary cap concessions when they entered the competition in comparison to Brisbane.
But Gold Coast boss Rodney Eade has fired back, suggesting the Lions engineered their own downfall with a series of poor off-field decisions and slamming the “misperception” that the Suns are rolling in cash.
Eade, who played two seasons with the Brisbane Bears in the late 1980s, said it was unfair to compare the start-up Suns with an established club like Brisbane.
“I was at the Brisbane Bears and we got draft picks and players and then Fitzroy joined them, and they got more draft picks,” he said.
“They’ve had the same (as us) 25 years ago, they’ve won premierships.
“I would have thought Brisbane need to compare with Carlton, St Kilda and Melbourne. We’re just different entities.”
Eade then took a subliminal shot at the Lions, whose current problems can be traced back to the disastrous Brendan Fevola trade of 2009.
“Geelong have won three (flags) and they’re still up, so they’ve made good decisions along the way,” Eade said.
Eade said the Suns had the second-lowest football department expenditure of any AFL club.
“I think we’re still $2 million being the eighth team in spend,” he said.
“We’re under-resourced compared to every other club.
“The facilities are poor, we’re in portables. There’s a whole range of things.
“You’ve just got to make good decisions. You’ve got to be efficient with your spend.”
Leppitsch had claimed the Lions looked on with envy as the Suns were given a “plethora” of elite young talent.
“I think Rodney Eade would be sitting there pretty comfortable that he’s got some players, his starting midfield are all going to be future champions that haven’t played this year,” Leppitsch said.
“I’d think he’s sitting there comfortable that long term they’re going to be fine.”
The Lions sit bottom of the ladder, two points behind the Suns, and must win on Saturday to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
“We’re both down the bottom of the ladder so there’s not much excitement around it or anything like that, but it is a good opportunity for us and we see it as a winnable game,” Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff said.