Eddie's radical plan to make Tasmanian team a reality

4 weeks ago 8
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Eddie McGuire says the AFL needs to "start again" with its approach to a new Tasmanian-based team, after the state was left fuming at the league's response to a potential 19th team in the Apple Isle last week.

After a report from ex-Geelong president Colin Carter claimed that Tasmania had a strong case for a team, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan incurred the wrath of Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein by suggesting that a joint-venture or an existing Victorian team relocating to the state would be Tasmania's best option.

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Gutwein responded by threatening to pull funding from all AFL activities in Tasmania and plans to "pivot" state funding to rival codes if the AFL continues to be non-committal.

Tasmaian premier Peter Gutwein was left less than pleased with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan last week (Getty)

McGuire compared the AFL's reaction to the Carter report to the 1980s where struggling Victorian teams were sent interstate as opposed to brand new teams being introduced.

He urged the league to become a fully national competition by installing teams in both Tasmania and far North Queensland by 2030, saying the AFL needs to leverage the infrastructure brought around by the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane and the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

"We can't have Tasmania look like a second-rate citizen involved in this," he told Nine's Footy Classified.

"I just reckon the report was too much of [the] 1980s. Where do we get rid of a problem in Victoria and dump it somewhere else?

"You can't send somebody who doesn't want to go somewhere to somebody who doesn't want to have them and expect success.

"The Carter report, and I'm not having a go at Colin Carter, he's done this in good faith, but I look at it and think there's a far bigger vista out there if you approach it this way that we can come up with some solutions.

"If the answer is no, the answer is no. But what we can't say is, the answer is sort of this and maybe that."

Eddie McGuire believes two new teams must be brought into the AFL together rather than simply one (Getty)

According to McGuire, Gutwein is in no rush to have a team in Tasmania, but wants clarity from the AFL. McLachlan says the AFL has a "commitment" to work out a solution with Tasmania.

"He said, 'I just want an answer, I can live with a 'no', but I won't cop another 12-18 months of indecision," McGuire said.

"He is prepared to work with the AFL on a COVID recovery and it's economic impact. So what he's saying is, 'Let's relax, I just need to know that this is going to happen and that there is an absolute belief that we should have a team in Tasmania'.

"He is open to discussion on private ownership, which wasn't addressed in the Carter report, and can push the entry of a team from 2026 to 2030."

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