Up to Suns to make it work: Everitt
FORMER AFL player Spida Everitt says there is a place for the Suns in the game but it's up to them to make it work.
The former St Kilda, Hawthorn and Sydney player said there were enough Australian rules fans on the Gold Coast to make the Suns viable but didn't agree with club CEO Tony Cochrane and Lions great Jonathan Brown that the AFL should hand them draft concessions to finally become competitive.
"There is a spot for them on the Gold Coast, I'm in no doubt," Everitt said.
"The supporter base will be there and winning games puts bums on seats.
"I don't think they need any more concessions, they just have to get themselves together.
"When you think about all the players they have allowed go it says to me that it's not the best environment.
"The need to get a good enough environment that players want to stay."
AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren said it was critical the Gold Coast stood the test of time because despite their on-field problems, their presence was making a huge impact across the state.
"We clearly, like all Queensland football fans, would like to see both the Gold Coast and Brisbane's on field performances improve," Warren said.
"It makes trying to grow the game here easier. But we also understand that does take time.
"The Suns and Lions are going through a pretty tough period at the moment.
"But what we are seeing from a participation and growth perspective is having two AFL teams in the Queensland market is critical for us.
"To have AFL content in south east Queensland every weekend is critical for us when we are competing against rugby league, rugby union and soccer.
"It gives us the relevance in the market that we need and it's having a positive affect on participation.
"Our numbers have steadily grown. We had 10 per cent growth across Queensland last year across all of our competitions and programs but pleasingly, we had close to six per cent growth in club footy as well.
"When they do start progressing up the ladder our game's relevance and position in Queensland will be significantly stronger than it already is."