AFL sets deadline on Tasmanian expansion

2 months ago 17
PR Distribution

The AFL has confirmed a decision on a new standalone team from Tasmania will be made in early 2022.

That follows the release of the Carter Review earlier this month, which recommended the establishment of an AFL and AFLW team in the Apple Isle.

The report set out three options: a 19th license, the relocation of an existing Victorian team, or a Melbourne-based club playing most of its matches in Tasmania.

Following a meeting between AFL boss Gillon McLachlan and Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein, the AFL has committed to discussing the report with existing clubs in September, before deciding the best way forward.

"We need to finalise the industry funding model with the 18 clubs given the continuing impact of the Covid pandemic, and have undertaken that once that work is done and we have worked through the steps identified by the Carter review, the AFL Commission will put a position to the clubs for decision on a licence for a team to represent Tasmania," McLachlan said in a statement.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan (Getty)

The AFL boss had previously drawn the ire of Gutwein, after he suggested that relocation or a joint venture was the "best chance" of a team from Tasmania having success.

That statement resulted in Gutwein threatening to ban the AFL from Tasmania completely in 2022.

"That immediate response from them I don't think is good enough," Gutwein said last week.

"This is unacceptable, I've been clear from the outset we need a timeline.

"We will not finalise those contracts, we will not roll them over with Hawthorn and North Melbourne until we have a starting point from the AFL … in regards to a new Tasmanian AFL team."

This morning's announcement from the AFL means the agreements with Hawthorn and North Melbourne to play games in Tasmania in 2022 can now be rolled over.

This weekend, Launceston will host AFL finals matches for the first time, with Sydney to play GWS on Saturday, and Essendon facing the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

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