Is 10 Victorian teams too many?
AFL powerbrokers want to relocate one of the Victorian clubs amid the coronavirus crisis, according to veteran journalist Caroline Wilson.
Wilson said one club keeps coming up in those conversations – North Melbourne.
“Every time I talk to a club, the team that keeps coming back is North Melbourne and the fact that they should have relocated to (the) Gold Coast some years ago,” Wilson said on Channel 9’s Footy Classified.
“Even within the AFL there’s a view that Tasmania should not be off the table despite the fact that it seems like an indulgence at the moment, and that North Melbourne should go to Tasmania.
“The job now is to keep everyone alive and that’s going to be difficult when everything is on the table.
“I just get the feeling when I talk to individual clubs, their bosses, their presidents, CEOs, and the AFL, that nothing is sacred.
“I still can’t sit here tonight and say despite the AFL’s assurances that 18 teams and the way they look now are assured to go into 2021.”
Such speculation is not foreign to the Roos, who rejected a strong push from the AFL to relocate to the Gold Coast in the late 2000’s under then chairman James Brayshaw.
Tasmania is keen to enter the league in the coming seasons, however, Wilson said the state would rather build a club from scratch than merge with an existing side.
She believes moving North Melbourne south would provide the necessary financial framework to get the Tasmanian club up and and running.
“Several other clubs are saying North Melbourne to Tasmania is the obvious solution,” she said.
“We want to keep 18 clubs and 10 clubs in Victoria is just not sustainable at a time where everything has been thrown back on the table. I think now the rules have changed.
“I believe football will only benefit from being resurrected in Tasmania in terms of it’s own team.
“The problem is Tasmanians didn’t want North Melbourne. Had the AFL refused to give them a provisional license, they would have asked to keep Hawthorn games and get rid of North Melbourne.
“North Melbourne don’t want to go to Tasmania, but you could almost justify the cost situation if you could relocate the club there and not establish the club from scratch.”