AFL spectators have been forced to witness an assortment of questionable haircuts since the league returned from lockdown, but nobody expected the CEO to join in.

During Wednesday’s historic announcement the 2020 Grand Final would take place at the Gabba, viewers couldn’t help but notice Gillon McLachlan had grown out his hair while stuck in Stage 4 lockdown in Victoria.

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Sporting a healthy mullet, the 47-year-old’s luscious locks glistened in the Queensland sunlight, the back of his neck well-protected from the Sunshine State’s harsh UV rays.

The Guardian journalist Amy Remikis tweeted: “Appreciate Gill McLachlan sporting a mullet to announce Queensland will host an AFL grand final before a NRL grand final. It’s a nice marriage of Qld’s love of football.”

It’s magnificent. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
media_cameraIt’s magnificent. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

McLachlan was queried about the motivation behind his now-famous mane on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.

“The mullet, I’ve had a lot of feedback direct,” McLachlan admitted on Thursday morning.

“I don’t go on to the broader platforms, but I can imagine.

“I’m just not sure how you’re supposed to cut your hair in stage four lockdown.

“I was a big mullet wearer when I was young; (I’m) South Australian … they were big over there, Kernahan was an idol, and I’m rolling with it.

“I’m gonna be interested to see what it’s like by October 24.”

When the AFL resumed in June, there was an unmistakeable difference to many of our favourite players.

Instead of the traditional short back and sides or shaved heads we’re used to in winter, there was an assortment of bleached blonde hairdos, mullets and faux hawks.

“Too many c**p bleached blonde haircuts at the Pies. I have no idea who anyone is,” lamented footy reporter Mark Gottlieb in round two.

Now the AFL’s boss has added to the concerning trend, but we’d argue the South Australian’s coiffure is worth applauding.

That should be resting nicely on his suit jacket by grand final day. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
media_cameraThat should be resting nicely on his suit jacket by grand final day. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Gil had some good length back in his polo days. Picture: Jessica Lee
media_cameraGil had some good length back in his polo days. Picture: Jessica Lee

McLachlan’s hairdo wasn’t the only unexpected talking point from Wednesday’s press conference. As the ears of the football world tuned in, the eyes of many couldn’t help but lose focus on the AFL boss and daze off into the distance.

In the background behind McLachlan’s glorious mullet was a golfer desperately searching for his lost ball.

The AFL’s decision to go with Brisbane and leave Western Australia out in the dark didn’t sit well with WA Premier Mark McGowan, who continues to play hardball with the league.

“What we’ve said the whole way along to the AFL is you need to abide by our quarantine and safety conditions, and we’re not going to give you millions of dollars. We were pretty strict about it,” McGowan told Mix 94.5.

“They decided to go somewhere else. Western Australia obviously has the best stadium, the strongest AFL crowd and the most healthy and safe environment but they went to Queensland for other reasons obviously, so good luck to them.

“I know to some people it’s the number one priority, my number one priority is keeping people safe and getting jobs back and the economy back. The AFL comes third.”

Originally published as AFL boss commits to shock extension

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