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Tasmanian AFL expansion team decision will be finalized in 2022, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says

The AFL will settle on a final call on the reasonability of a Tasmanian expansion team early in the 2022 season. The AFL has concurred that a decision in whether a standalone team from Tasmania will enter the league will be made in mid-2022 after negotiations between AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein over a timetable were finished on Tuesday.

The AFL and the Tasmanian government experience handled a landmark peace deal that will be affirmed as early as Tuesday morning.

Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein said he was “annoyed” when Colin Carter’s report didn’t completely advocate for a 19th license in the state and took steps to excuse Hawthorn and North Melbourne’s presence in the state for the 2022 season.

The agreement implies that Gutwein will turn over the current agreements with Hawthorn and North Melbourne to play games in Tasmania into 2022.

In a joint declaration, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said a decision on a Tasmanian AFL licence would be made at the “earliest opportunity” in the 2022 season.

The decision comes after the Carter report, released early this month, proclaimed that a standalone team in Tasmania was viable and the AFL should seek after an interaction towards building up a team in the state.

The AFL said in a statement that a position for the AFL licence would be put to club presidents per the funding model for the AFL industry that is being created. This model, which decides club funding and the aggregate bargaining agreement for 2023 and 2024, is relied upon to be finished in mid-2022.

“The AFL and the state government will work through the matters raised in the Carter report ahead of a final position being put to club presidents for a decision on a Tasmanian AFL team,” Gutwein said in a press release.

“I want to thank Gil for the time he has spent in discussion with me over the past week to come to this agreement, which we both support.”

The decision permits the Tasmanian government to proceed with dealings with Hawthorn and North Melbourne to play home games in Launceston and Hobart in 2022.

“This is a win-win. Tassie footy fans get yet another season of top-class footy played in Tasmania and we will finally have a decision on our own Tassie team,” Gutwein said.

The AFL will in any case talk about the Carter report with club presidents in September, however, is relied upon to at first model what may be in offer for a relocated team or joint venture to decide if any club would be interested in seeking after that alternative, which was outlined in the report. Nobody anticipates that other clubs should genuinely engage that option.

The league will at the same time be taking a gander at securing Tasmanian government backing to underwrite a team – either migrated or standalone – and deciding its plans for a stadium and sports complex to house a standalone team before being in a situation to put a vote to club presidents for development.

The AFL Commission will initially have to agree to the extension bid, before getting the help of 12 of the 18 AFL clubs at a president’s meeting.

“We need to finalize the industry funding model with the 18 clubs given the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic,” McLachlan said.

“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 a decision on a licence for a team to represent Tasmania.”

McLachlan has made it clear Gold Coast will proceed in the Queensland market and North Melbourne have made it clear they would not think about migration to Tasmania.

Gutwein revealed to the Tasmanian parliament he trusted a decision on the licence would be made early in the year.

Launceston will host two AFL finals this weekend for the first time in the history of the competition, with Sydney playing GWS on Saturday, and the Western Bulldogs playing Essendon on Sunday.

“We now have a timeline for the answer to be given, once and for all, whether or not we have a Tasmanian AFL team,” Gutwein said.

“We are now in a position where we can negotiate one-year rollover deals and finalize those negotiations subject to Hawthorn and North Melbourne being prepared to work with the state to have AFL content on the ground next year.”

The AFL boss had previously gotten under the skin of Gutwein after he recommended that movement or a joint venture was the “best chance” of a team from Tasmania having achievement.

That statement brought about Gutwein taking steps to prohibit the AFL from Tasmania totally in 2022.

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