Former Geelong president Colin Carter raised concerns over the size of the market in Tasmania in a recent tour of the state.
Carter, who has also sat on the AFL commission, has been appointed to review the business case for a 19th licence in Tasmania.
Carter met with a range of key stakeholders on a three-day trip earlier this month and is expected to complete his review by mid-July. The document will be considered by the league’s 18 presidents later this year.
AFL sources said Carter had raised concerns over whether a Tasmanian team could be successful given its population size.
Geelong, where Carter was president, has been one of the most successful clubs of the modern era despite having half the population of Tasmania.
Well-placed insiders in the state also said Carter was encouraged by feedback from AFL Tasmania that, despite serious concerns, participation rates could soon rebound.
A big part of the Tasmanian Taskforce report into a 19th team was that it would help reverse drastically declining participation rates across the state that many argue are threatening to make footy a second-choice pursuit.
It’s understood further research is now being conducted over the decline of footy participation in Tasmania.
But the AFL alone won’t make the final call on whether Tasmania gets the green light to plan for its own team.
The 18 club presidents retain the power when it comes to adding a team, removing a team or merging a team.
Tasmania would need a specific majority to potentially gain entry to the competition – believed to be 14 of the 18 to keep the flame flickering.
Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein has said he is confident the AFL will agree at the end of the year to admit a Tasmanian team by 2025 or 2026
Gutwein said he won’t enter negotiations with Hawthorn or North Melbourne to play games in Tasmania beyond this year until he learns more about a Tasmanian team.