AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou admits the code may have to play second fiddle to rugby union again in 2014 over access to Patersons Stadium in September.
Demetriou has slammed the West Australian Football Commission's decision to schedule the rugby Test between Australia and Argentina at the 42,000 capacity venue on September 14 - smack-bang in the middle of the AFL finals.
It means that if - as expected - Fremantle host a semi-final at Patersons Stadium on that weekend, it must be played on Friday, September 13.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said it was "an act of treachery" by the WA Football Commission to accept the Saturday night booking for the Test between the Wallabies and Argentina in September.
It meant that the winner of Saturday night's elimination final between the Magpies and Port would probably have to traverse the country to take on the Dockers off a six-day break.
"I understand Eddie's comments because it is extremely frustrating," Demetriou said on Monday.
"... It does compromise our finals.
"It was a decision the (WA) Football Commission shouldn't have made - it is true that once that game is stuck on that Saturday night it limits our opportunities (and) that has a flow-on effect.
"We're not happy with the decision.
"It does compromise our finals and unfortunately we could be in that same position next year."
Demetriou said the only way to guarantee a similar situation did not occur again in 2014 if Fremantle or West Coast booked a home final was if rugby authorities could be prevailed upon to rejig the Rugby Championship schedule.
"Not being disrespectful, but Australia-Argentina on the Saturday night isn't really of interest to us," he said.
"We're more interested in Fremantle or the West Coast Eagles playing in the finals, quite rightly, when they can play."
But Demetriou said Fremantle had no legitimate cause for complaint that Saturday's qualifying final against Geelong was being played at the Cats' regular home venue of Simonds Stadium, rather than the much-larger Etihad Stadium.
He said the 4000 tickets made available to Dockers fans at the 33,000-capacity Simonds Stadium would be more than enough to cater for demand.
"I can assure you that any Fremantle supporter or member who wants a ticket will get a ticket," said the AFL boss.
"We've made 4000 tickets available and my guess is that the 4000 won't be taken up."