AFL in Tassie: Relocate or start new?

August 19, 2021 BY

Staying put: North Melbourne has said it has no interest in relocating to Tasmania, despite playing a number of games there. Photo: SCOTT BARBOUR/ AAP IMAGE

COLIN Carter, the author of the Carter Report into the viability of an AFL team in Tasmania, admits he would be disappointed if an existing team opted not to consider relocating to Tassie.

The report, that was released on Friday, insisted that a 19th licence in the southern state would be viable, but that a relocated existing team would be the optimal route to take.

Teams like North Melbourne, St Kilda and Gold Coast are always the first few mentioned in terms of relocations.

The Kangaroos have stated ad nauseum that they will not be leaving Arden Street while AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has staunchly noted that the Suns will not be moving either.

Carter explained why he feels the best option for Tassie is for an existing side to take the plunge.

“It is at the end of the day up to the club boards and their memberships to decide on that,” Carter told SEN’s Dwayne’s World.

“I’d be disappointed if some [clubs didn’t explore the idea]. I think the challenge that the clubs have, if you read the report, the chances of changing a club’s position in the wealth order of the competition are pretty low.

“If you take a long-term view at this, [the clubs] should look at this. Look at Sydney for example. Would anyone seriously argue that staying in South Melbourne or starting in Sydney without South Melbourne would be a better option for both of them now?

“I think in hindsight we see that that relocation was good for both sides.”

Despite the above, Carter confirmed that a 19th AFL team in Tasmania was financially viable and an option that should be on the table.

“When I started this report, a very common view was ‘yeah Tasmania’s special, it deserves to be participating in the AFL competition, but…’ and a lot of those sentences finished with ‘but we’re not sure whether the numbers stack up and whether the team is sustainable’,” Carter said.

“The main argument, most of my paper is spent on establishing that the team is financially doable for the AFL, a 19th licence does work and I think that’s really important because that’s the big threshold question that has never been addressed, but there are risks attached to that.

“I then note, as I was expected to, that there are other options, which should be considered because they reduce the risks in relocation and possibly even a joint venture.

“It doesn’t mean to say they should be accepted, but they are ones reducing the risk, but the threshold question is ‘yes Tasmania should be represented’.”

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein was not happy with the AFL’s response to the Carter Report.

“That immediate response from them I don’t think is good enough,” Gutwein said last week.

“I’m very disappointed with the AFL this morning. 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.”

 

– BY NIC NEGREPONTIS/ SEN

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