Forget the priority picks, rival AFL clubs remain convinced the best help floundering Gold Coast can receive is off the field.
Storm clouds are again gathering over the Suns after a horror run of form that represents arguably the lowest point in the club’s decade-long existence.
After a promising 3-1 start to the season, Gold Coast are on a 12-game losing streak.
There have been some tight losses, but Saturday night’s 95-point mauling from Adelaide follows last week’s 92-point drubbing from Richmond.
The Suns will lobby the AFL for a priority pick at the top of this year’s draft but player retention, fan support and depth of talent all remain major issues.
Geelong coach Chris Scott believes clubs would not begrudge the AFL investing more into the Suns’ football department.
“I think they need help on-field, to an extent,” Scott told Fox Footy.
“But I don’t think anyone around the competition would look at GWS and Gold Coast and say that their footy department is resourced so well that we can’t compete with them.
“I would think that more going into that area to attract the best people off the field wouldn’t be looked down upon by the rest of the competition.”
While Gold Coast’s football department spend is thought to be well below the $9.5 million soft cap, an exemption would allow them to put big money on the table to attract assistant coaches and other off-field personnel.
Former Geelong star and current GWS director Jimmy Bartel suggested such a move would be much better-received by rival clubs than priority picks.
“They’re so under-resourced that you could throw hundreds of draft picks up there and they’re going to tumble-turn and come back out or not even develop,” Bartel said on the Seven Network.
“You need to fill all that in – welfare, the actual facilities, keep a fitness manager for longer than four years.
“I think if you actually undid the soft cap for the Suns – which the AFL are paying for anyway – I think that’s the first step before we just start throwing more wasted picks.”
Former coach Rodney Eade on Monday urged the Suns to use their likely No.1 draft pick as trade bait to add experienced players in their prime.
The bottom-placed Suns face 17th-placed Carlton – a team that has shown significant improvement under caretaker coach David Teague – at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.