Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says the club will leave Tasmania ‘if it is not wanted’


July 11, 2018 14:28:29

If Tasmania does not want its 18-year relationship with Hawthorn to continue “just tell us and we’ll go back to the mainland”, club president Jeff Kennett says.

In a letter sent to Hawthorn members, Mr Kennett took issue with federal Labor leader Bill Shorten’s $25 million offer towards a Tasmanian AFL team.

Mr Kennett said it was a “crass intervention” in the talk of the island state’s desire to have its own team in the national league.

He then argued Mr Shorten’s money would not go far and would certainly not cover the “bare minimum” $30 million needed per year to run an AFL team.

Mr Kennett reasoned Tasmania was well served by having Hawthorn, and North Melbourne, adopting it as their second home and their exit would be Tasmania’s loss.

“Hawthorn’s presence in Tasmania brings in $30 million a year in economic activity and that’s before you consider the promotion of Tasmania we deliver that attracts others to the island state,” he wrote.

“If Tasmania has its own team, much of that economic value will disappear.”

Mr Kennett said the best thing Tasmania could do was to “embrace the model released by the AFL last month, and use it as an opportunity to build the case for their own AFL team someday”.

But, he said, his club would not stay where it was not wanted.

“One thing I am sure of, given our considerable efforts over many years, and my continued promotion of Tasmania, is if Hawthorn is not wanted in Tasmania, just tell us and we will go back to the mainland,” he wrote.








First posted

July 11, 2018 14:25:46

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