Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has provided the AFL with an ultimatum, saying they will not contemplate further arrangements for Hawthorn and North Melbourne to play games in the state until they have more information surrounding a 19th AFL license.
The wheels appeared to be in motion for Tassie to receive an AFL license at the start of 2020, with a push for the side to enter the competition by 2025 – then COVID-19 hit and other priorities hit the desk of league CEO Gillon McLachlan.
The Roos and Hawks will each play four home games in Tasmania in 2021, but their current deal expires at the end of the year.
Gutwein said his government won’t even look at extending those deals until they have more information on the 19th license.
“We will not finalise the arrangements for the next contract with Hawthorn or North Melbourne until we have clarity from the AFL in terms of our own licence,” Gutwein told reporters on Tuesday.
“That clarity doesn’t exist at the moment.
“I’ve made it perfectly clear to Mr (Gillon) McLachlan we cannot and will not finalise those arrangements until we have that clarity.
“Tasmania is part of the federation and you cannot have a truly national Australian Football League if one of the states does not have a team in it.
“I’ve made that perfectly clear to the AFL.”