The AFL's request for another year to examine Tasmania's case for a standalone team is both unreasonable and disrespectful, according to the state's AFL taskforce and Premier Peter Gutwein.
A long-running saga appeared to come to a head last week when Mr Gutwein informed AFL House that Tasmania would not continue contract conversations with Hawthorn and North Melbourne until it received a timeline for its own team.
A response received shortly before Friday's close of business deadline indicated the AFL would "seek an independent consultant" to conduct a review of the state's bid, which would be completed late 2021 or early 2022.
Speaking in Launceston on Saturday, Mr Gutwein accused the AFL of "recalcitrance".
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"Quite frankly I would have thought that the AFL, with the resources that they have and also the ability to call on professionals from outside of the organisation, could look at the business case within a matter of weeks," he said.
"What really surprises me is if they wanted to use an independent consultant, they could have put that independent consultant on to look at the report last March.
"At the moment pushing this issue out for another 12 months just isn't fair."
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan's response said the timeframe would allow the AFL to get a clearer picture of its financial position in the wake of COVID.
"At the end of the day many organisations have had to pivot to manage COVID - our business case was provided to them last February," Mr Gutwein said.
"The fact that they haven't bothered to look at it in detail just doesn't stack up - the football season finished in October.
"I've said right through the AFL has been treating Tasmania with disrespect ... it beggars belief that the AFL want to kick the can down the road again for another 12 months."
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The Tasmanian AFL taskforce's 267-page business plan was first handed to Mr McLachlan on February 7, 2020 - 43 days before COVID forced the season to be postponed.
The AFL Commission had begun to consider the report when coronavirus put the season on standstill until June 11, with cuts putting many out of jobs industry-wide.
Tasmanian AFL taskforce chairman Brett Godfrey said last week that while the AFL did not need Tasmania's "added noise" once COVID set in last year, the state could not wait much longer for a response.
A statement from the taskforce on Saturday said continued "perpetual inaction" from the AFL could mark a death sentence for footy in Tasmania.
"It appears there is both a lack of understanding and urgency within the wider AFL community as to the realities of its game in this state," the statement read.
"While many people will understand how COVID might impact timing, the missing or silent vision after all these years is staggering.
"They must, if they hold the local sport and state dear to their future, simply say that Tasmania will be next and part of this new 12-month review is to confirm 'when', not 'if'.
"That's surely the minimum expectation and inherently reasonable."
The Premier's next step is to seek a meeting with Mr McLachlan in the coming weeks, with Hawthorn and North Melbourne's contract negotiations to remain on the backburner.
Mr Gutwein called on both clubs, who are in the final year of five-year deals, to back the state in seeking a quicker review from the AFL.
"I think what would be useful from those two club presidents that we've had a long relationship with, both of whom have said publicly they support our aspiration for our own licence ... they should be saying to the AFL as well 'come on, get on with this, let's get an answer earlier than 2022," he said.
"I would have thought as one of the major sponsors of AFL, that they would treat us [Tasmania] with some respect and at the moment I'm not seeing that."
Labor sport spokesman David O'Byrne labelled the AFL's response "extraordinarily disrespectful" and called on the Premier to provide an events strategy for UTAS Stadium and Bellerive Oval should an AFL team not come to fruition.