Geelong coach Chris Scott has blasted the AFL's assistance package to North Melbourne as "blatant manipulation".
St Kilda counterpart Ross Lyon joined Scott in condemning the league's decision to grant the Kangaroos an extra three first-round draft picks across two years.
North have finished bottom two for the last four seasons, and claimed the wooden spoon in 2021 and 2022.
The Kangaroos would have made it three-straight years anchored to the bottom of the ladder if they didn't beat Gold Coast in their final game of the season.
"There is a mechanism of equalisation within the competition already. If you finish second last, you get second pick in the draft," Scott told Fox Footy.
"They've (North) had that for a number of years now because they chose to go down a certain path.
"The AFL pretty quickly has to get to the point, in my view, where they just get out of the way and let the system operate without this blatant manipulation.
"You can't look at this season and say 'OK, well you finished second last so we need to support you again'. The support's already been there over previous years."
Lyon was also critical of the AFL's decision, with the Saints playing in just two finals series, including this year, during the last decade.
"I think the real question is if you put yourself in the hole, because there's been a lot of decisions over a long period of time - not unlike the Saints and other clubs, to keep going back to head office and asking for assistance, I think there's a bit to be said to dig yourself out," Lyon said.
"You've got gifts being given to clubs that have been down the bottom for a long time."
Scott labelled North coach Alastair Clarkson a "genius" for trying to replicate his premiership success at the Hawks' through the draft.
"There are clubs who have performed at a lower level than North Melbourne over the last decade that haven't got one single thing," the two-time premiership coach said.
"I don't understand how you can play in (two) prelim finals (over the last decade) and get compensation, priority ...
"The worst place to be clearly in today's competition is middle of the road because you get nothing.
"The AFL just shouldn't be in a position where they are manipulating the competition the way they are."