Hawks CEO sceptical about Tassie team plan

OPINION: AFL delivers reality check, but questions remain

Hawthorn CEO Stuart Fox is skeptical about the prospects of a standalone AFL team in Tasmania, arguing that there is nothing wrong with the current game allocation in the state.

Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday that the AFL was hoping to establish a one-team model in the Apple Isle, in order to have "a single team representing Tasmania."

But Fox heaped cold water over the notion, arguing that such a venture would struggle to be viable.

[Hawthorn battles North Melbourne in Launceston during this year's pre-season]

Hawthorn battles North Melbourne in Launceston during this year's pre-season Photo: Getty Images

"We've always been very supportive if Tassie ever gets a team, and wants a fully fledged team, then that would be the time Hawthorn would have to move out," Fox told SEN on Wednesday morning.

"But look in my opinion it would be very hard to financially hold a team up down there, it's hard enough in some of the big state markets to do that."

Fairfax Media's report outlined the AFL's preference is to have just one team playing home games in Tasmania as part of a move to unite the state's historically fractured north and south.

The Hawks' boss however believed that such a move was unnecessary and inconsistent with AFL policy elsewhere.

"This North-South divide debate is ridiculous because we're trying to create great rivalry in Adelaide, in Perth, in Sydney in Queensland, why can't a great battle between two good clubs happen in Tasmania?" Fox said.

Fox's comments come after North Melbourne flagged a desire to increase the number of home games it plays in Hobart to three next year, one more than the two which the Kangaroos have played in the Tasmanian capital since 2012.

Fox indicated that Hawthorn would have no issue with the Roos playing more games in Tasmania, but could not see how either club could possibly play more than four without a pseudo-relocation.

"I think it'd be a shame to ruin the current model that's working, and we're really supportive of North playing a couple of extra games down there," he said.

"I'm probably curious how a one team model would work, because I think if either Hawthorn or North Melbourne were to relocate eight games, they'd have significant issues, because I think (their boards) would probably be kicked out by their members."

Hawthorn has played home games in Launceston since 2001, increasing its presence in the state from one game in that first season, to four games in every year since 2007. 

The move has been a success on multiple fronts with the Hawks having won an impressive 73% of their games at Aurora Stadium, as well as providing an annual $3 million for the club's coffers courtesy of a deal which has Tasmania as the club's naming rights sponsor.

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