Collingwood have labelled Sydney disrespectful and unprofessional, after the Swans moved their opening-round AFL clash from ANZ Stadium to the SCG.
The Magpies and their fans are seething about the Swans’ late notice of the move, with the March 26 fixture coinciding with Easter Saturday and consequentially limited accommodation options in the harbour city.
Making matters worse, Collingwood CEO Gary Pert said the club only became aware of the 18-kilometre move when fans alerted them on social media on Monday before they phoned the game’s governing body.
“It’s an indictment on the AFL and the Swans,” he told SEN Radio on Tuesday.
“For the Swans to relocate without any communication is not only disrespectful but unprofessional and inappropriate.
“The game is far more professional than that. We’ll want answers and we want compensation.”
Pert said the club had been inundated by fans complaining about the short-notice of the shift, while the football department traditionally makes different travel arrangements for matches played at Moore Park as opposed to Sydney’s west.
“The AFL is trying to work with us but they don’t have any solutions either,” he said.
“If it’s the most expensive accommodation in Sydney that will be fine and the Sydney Swans and AFL can foot the bill.”
The Swans said they had been working on the switch since November, but discussions between the parties only intensified in the past three weeks.
But club president Andrew Pridham didn’t seem to think the matter was so serious.
“I wake up every morning worrying about Collingwood so I’m deeply disturbed,” he joked.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine, we’ve moved the game from Homebush to Moore Park, not to Newcastle.
“We’ve got perfectly good roads and I’m sure in 20 minutes or so they’ll be there.”
The match is one of three to be shifted from the Olympic Stadium, with matches against Essendon (round seven) and Carlton (round 18) also moved as the Swans make the SCG their exclusive AFL home.