The AFL fixture has gone from unbalanced to almost grossly unfair.

While it can’t be equal, given 16 clubs play 22 rounds, it can be closer to fair and the AFL Commission needs to impose its authority on this one.

Fremantle is the latest victim of the lack of fairness.

The Dockers will play a cut-throat semi-final against Geelong at the MCG tonight … their first game at the ‘G for the year.

The other 15 clubs all played there at least once, with Collingwood and Melbourne the most regular at 14.

Collingwood has played its past eight games in a row there; Geelong tonight will play its ninth game there this year.

Surely that is unfair. The MCG has its own feel, its various nuances, like the softer texture on the shaded members’ wing, the swirling breeze, the varying backdrops to the goals.

The Dockers trained briefly at the ground yesterday and, for many of the youngsters, it was as if they had arrived at Mecca for the first time.

There was obvious excitement in the group, much like young golfers must be when they first walk into Augusta, when cricketers arrive at Lord’s for the first time.

It was a little like a pilgrimage, with several hundred Fremantle supporters looking on in awe of their players and the great stadium.

The AFL has an equal obligation to all its clubs, and all 16 should be given a minimum two games a year at the MCG.

It wouldn’t be an initiative welcomed by the Melbourne Cricket Club, for the non-Victorian teams, particularly those from South Australia and Western Australia, can’t draw here, but it should become enshrined as a fundamental of the match program.

Imagine the scenario if Fremantle had finished first or second on the home-and-away ladder this year, won its first two finals and then had to come to Melbourne to play off for the flag without having seen the Grand Final venue.

The AFL must stop perpetuating, even widening, the gap between the heavyweights and the so-called supporting acts.

An MCG experience is a basic right, as is a share of the exposure to the Friday night television audience.

It’s fine to argue the broadcasters won’t cop the less popular teams on Friday nights.

The reality is they will cop what they are served up, as they did this year when there was so little interest in Essendon’s games against Carlton and Collingwood on successive Friday nights.

Melbourne and North Melbourne were allotted one Friday night each for the year. Essendon, which finished below both of them, enjoyed seven Friday nights.

Melbourne, North, Freo and company can lift their image and status nationally only by appearing on the big stage.

The purists among us also want to see the game’s young guns going through their paces. Imagine how exciting Stephen Hill is going to be in a year or two, or even tonight.

Similar story with Liam Jurrah, Tom Scully and Jack Trengove at Melbourne, with Ryan Bastinac and Ben Cunnington at North.

These clubs need exposure more than handouts. They need a fair share of prime time.

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