Eddie McGuire’s radical plan for Tasmanian club would see North Melbourne become the only AFL team to play ALL their games at home – with Alastair Clarkson as coach
- McGuire has revealed a plan that gives Tasmania and Kangaroos what they want
- It would see 22 North Melbourne home games all played in Victoria or Tasmania
- The plan also includes recruiting premiership-winner Alastair Clarkson as coach
- He claims it would not be relocation, but a chance to rejuvenate struggling club
Tasmanians have been calling for an AFL team of their own for decades, and former Collingwood president Eddie Maguire reckons he knows exactly how they can finally get their wish.
The Channel Nine star outlined a radical plan that would see the Kangaroos play 11 games in the Apple Isle and 11 in Melbourne.
He wants legendary four-time premiership winning coach Alastair Clarkson to lead the new outfit, with massive draft and financial concessions giving the club a leg-up as it breaks new ground.
It comes as many in AFL clubland are being increasingly wary of granting Tasmania its own standalone side, which would be backed by the state government.
The Kangaroos look despondent after losing to Geelong in Hobart on April 24. North would divide their games equally between Melbourne and Tasmania under McGuire’s plan
McGuire said his plan wasn’t a relocation, as has been mooted in the past for the Kangaroos, but rather a way to both ‘fast-track North Melbourne’s recovery’ and give Tasmanians what they want.
‘This is actually about giving them something, not taking things away from them,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘Under this plan, the Kangaroos would end up essentially with 22 home games while still being based in Melbourne and the other clubs would have to suck that up.
‘It means North Melbourne’s future would be secure and Tasmania would get a team that could come into the competition in a meaningful, highly competitive way from the outset.’
Eddie McGuire was president of the Magpies from 1988 to 2021
McGuire, who was president of the Magpies from 1988 to 2021, said getting former Hawks coach Clarkson to return from a self-imposed lay-off would be critical to the plan.
‘Getting Clarkson would be like Barassi going to Arden Street in the early 1970s and instead of the 10-year rule the Kangaroos used back then, this time the AFL would give them significant draft concessions,’ he said.
‘I think ‘Clarko’ would do this in a heartbeat if you gave the club all those draft concessions.’
Alastair Clarkson leaves the field in UTAS Stadium, Launceston, in 2021. Getting him to agree to coach the Tassie side is crucial to the success of McGuire’s plan
Not only did the innovative Clarkson build Hawthorn up from the bottom of the barrel in 2005 to a premiership dynasty and perennial powerhouse, but several of their home games were played in Tasmania.
He also played 93 games for North Melbourne in the ’80s and ’90s.
Clarkson would appear to be a perfect fit if North Melbourne played more games in Tasmania
McGuire reiterated this was not a cut-and-dry relocation, but the best of both worlds for North Melbourne and Tasmania.
‘This is not about relocating the North Melbourne Football Club. It is about giving them the best chance for success while still being based in Melbourne,’ he said.
‘It is also about getting more football in Tasmania. If they do this deal, they would go from a team without much hope to a team that would become one of the exciting teams of the competition.’
Cam Zurhaar (right) and Nick Larkey (left) after the Kangaroos’ round six loss in Hobart. If McGuire’s plan gets up, the Roos would get a $20million cash injection from the AFL and a host of other measures to give them a leg-up
Other aspects of the plan included a huge $20million cash injection from the AFL, premium and commercially advantageous fixtures as well as free streaming for club members.
The Tasmanian state government have a proposal of their own in the works, which would see huge amounts of money bid in order to secure a standalone team.
An artist’s impression of a new AFL stadium in Hobart, which could become reality if the Tasmanian government’s proposal for a team gets up
The submission would include details for a brand-new stadium in Hobart, a high performance facility and ability to secure Tasmanian grassroots footy products.
Eddie McGuire’s master plan for the proposed ‘Tasmanian Kangaroos’
- 11 matches each in both Melbourne and Tasmania, each season guaranteed
- Huge concessions for three drafts in a row, as well as access to a Tasmanian academy
- An ambassadorial and senior coaching role for Alastair Clarkson
- A massive $20million cash boost from the AFL
- Possible financial support from the Tasmanian state government
- Potential investment from the private sector
- Free access to streaming platforms for club members
- Premium fixture slots in the next TV rights deal
- A commercially advantageous fixture