AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan hasn't ruled out Tasmania becoming the 19th AFL entity.
Speaking with Gerard Whateley on SEN, the AFL's head honcho said the responsibility of the independent review into the state's taskforce report is to look at all of the options.
"I don't think you can take a 19th team off the table," McLachlan said.
"Although there are some that think it looks unusual or it's too expensive or it's the wrong decision, I think you've got to look at them all on its merits [and] get to where the right outcome is.
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"I don't subscribe to that, that it's definitively off the table."
This comes despite comments from Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett and Gold Coast president Tony Cochrane that a 19th side wouldn't happen in their respective lifetimes.
McLachlan said the pair's opinion may differ to other presidents in the competition, with the decision on expansion to go through the AFL Commission before reaching the club presidents for a final say - if it goes down that route.
"This is not being taken as a box-ticking exercise, it's a proper look at the report that's come from the taskforce in Tasmania," he said.
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"It's a bit of a line in the sand moment for Tasmania, the Premier has framed it like that and I think that's appropriate.
"This is the way that this thing works, in the end the presidents have the final say on expansion, if that's the way it goes.
"The Commission will not consider the decision until we feel we have a more stable environment, so there's a few things to jump through first but this is a proper exercise."
It was announced by Premier Peter Gutwein on Friday that the Tasmanian government would receive the results of the review in mid-2021, half a year earlier than originally planned.
However, an official decision on the state's side will not be made after the 2021 season.
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