Some West Coast players are yet to sign off on going into quarantine to restart the AFL season with uncertainty about the Gold Coast hub arrangement causing anxiety.
Along with Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide, the Eagles will spend at least four weeks in Queensland under the AFL’s return to play guidelines.
The exact time frame will depend on when Western Australia’s tight border restrictions are lifted to allow teams to fly in and out of the state without serving a 14-day quarantine period upon entry.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson says the club is yet to determine who will travel to the Gold Coast with players seeking further details from the AFL.
“We’re still working through what it looks like, how long we’re going to be there, getting a bit of guidance on that,” Simpson told reporters on Wednesday.
“That would be handy for not just the players but the staff as well – 25 of our staff are going to go and be in the same environment which is fine but they’ve probably got different issues with more mature families and children.
“Whatever it is, you’ve got to add a couple of weeks on top because when you come back you’re in quarantine. That adds to the anxiety.
“We’ll work through that … we need to know a bit more detail.”
Players will be allowed to have their immediate family join them in Queensland under a deal negotiated between the AFL and players’ union, a measure that is particularly relevant for the Eagles given many players have children.
Simpson praised the AFL for its hard work, noting that the league was fielding “hundreds of questions” from clubs, and said he was confident the remaining issues would be resolved.
“Once we get that locked away we can actually go to our staff and our players and give them the real clarity of what’s in front of them,” he said.
“But everyone’s keen – it’s not insurmountable, some of the questions we’ve got in our minds. Everyone’s keen to get there.”
The AFL season will resume on June 11, with the Eagles and Dockers and their South Australian counterparts expected to travel to the Gold Coast about a week prior.
In a surprise move on Tuesday, the SA clubs were given permission to resume contact training from next Monday – it had previously been barred in the state until June 8.
The decision allows Port and the Crows to remain in Adelaide instead of moving to a Gold Coast hub this weekend.
The AFL is understood to be considering reducing the soft salary cap, which covers football department spending, by some $3 million next year to around $6.5m.
And playing list sizes could be reduced from around 47 to 35 under measures to save money amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Port chief executive Keith Thomas on Wednesday said he hoped to know within three weeks the extent of the cost-cutting.
“It’s urgent,” he said.
“We’re really optimistic and positive that we’re starting footy again but no-one should forget that the economic impact on the industry has been really severe and it will be for years to come.”