I don’t know who it will be… but I know who it should be. Isn’t it obvious?
So today I read that Tasmania wants to be a one-club state. Good for them. But the problem is in the contracts and the club selection.
Apparently, they want Hawthorn. Now, I’m no expert on the inner workings of the Hawthorn Football Club, but I think it’s safe to say they aren’t going anywhere. They’ve got decent facilities, a solid membership base and absolutely no reason to move.
North Melbourne is the other club that plays there regularly but Tasmania doesn’t really want them (not necessarily) which is great because North have made it clear that they don’t want to move. To be honest, they probably should relocate… but if they don’t want to, who is going to force them? Certainly not the AFL – I’ve already explained how they defy the principles of basic sports economics… What the AFL should have done was instead of Gold Coast and GWS, was to eliminate one of those clubs (I’m not sure which one…) and establish a club in Tasmania. That would have been the sensible thing to do – but, alas, it’s too late for that. Establishing another club in Tassie can’t be done because it means that they need to set up an additional club elsewhere in order to keep the numbers even and the AFL isn’t strong enough to do that right now (maybe I’ll do it when I’m CEO…).
For now, Tasmania has to settle for a Melbourne club playing a bunch of its games there. The article says St. Kilda is another option which only made me laugh. Seriously? That feels really random. Especially because the AFL has now made St. Kilda the face of its New Zealand efforts (which I’m still unconvinced about, by the way).
The other two possibilities are the Western Bulldogs (also looks like a completely random choice) and Melbourne.
My vote goes to Melbourne, for obvious reasons.
But, if they’re not so obvious to you… here they are.
1. Melbourne doesn’t have enough support. Their membership numbers and ticket sales are low and therefore revenue is, too. The Melbourne market is over-saturated so it’s hard for clubs to stand out.
2. Melbourne desperately needs a change. You know they’re doing poorly, I know they’re doing poorly. They’ve gotten rid of a bunch of people (I don’t necessarily approve of this but it’s what happened) and they need something big to happen. This could be their brand defining moment. The other clubs don’t need to be redefined.
3. It will give them a fresh start. I think that people need to make the best of what they have, where they are (although I’m also a fan of running away – but that’s another story). So does Melbourne NEED to move? No. But the opportunities are tremendous.
4. It gives the AFL further reach. Well, so does the relocation of any club to Tasmania but we all know that if Melbourne moved there it would be a much bigger story.
But, let’s face it, Melbourne’s not going anywhere for one, very important, reason: it’s the oldest club in Australia. There’s too much history to relocate them. The end.
Good luck getting a single club, Tasmania – I don’t know how this will work out for you.