Ross Lyon is ‘a failed coach’ says Suns chairman after call to scrap Gold Coast from the AFL

The outspoken Suns official said the “only problem” the team has is “one of success” as he described criticism of the team as “borderline ridiculous”.

Lyon made headlines last week when he suggested scrapping the Suns and turning the league into a 17-team competition would help the AFL through the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we just drill into Gold Coast – are they, for what we’ve pumped in, are we getting return on investment there?” he asked on Nine’s Footy Classified.

“And are foundation clubs maybe missing out and under real pressure now?”

He later added: “With one less club you could have a 32-game season.

“And then you could put marquee games up and service South East Queensland and really establish it and then maybe bring it out of hibernation and go again.”

But Cochrane pointed to the growth of community footy in the region as proof the Suns were succeeding, and tied that to his claim Lyon was a “failed coach”.

Lyon made four Grand Finals (one replay in 2010) in 13 seasons across St Kilda and Fremantle, but failed to win any of them.

“It’s borderline ridiculous and incredibly frustrating. Every single person in the world has the current problem but the only real ongoing problem we have up here is one of success,” Cochrane said on SEN.

“We’ve built 28 new ovals in the last five years in the Gold Coast region and it’s not enough.

“We’ve got junior football in both girls and boys absolutely exploding from one end of Queensland to another and that’s because the AFL commission have done 10 years of hard work and used the TV rights money to get us in that position.

“Why anybody would even consider chopping that growth just proves they’re not only a failed coach, but they don’t know much about economics either.”

The AFL has stated strongly it wants to get through the current financial crisis with 18 teams, and CEO Gillon McLachlan has said on multiple occasions the Suns are here to stay.

“I know we go into this hiatus with 18 clubs, we’ll come out of it with 18 clubs and we’ll have an industry to go forward with again,” McLachlan said on Fox Footy last week.

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