Expansion Eddie McGuire says Collingwood needs to play against Tasmania and Darwin teams by 2028

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Club Legend
May 11, 2019
AFL Club
St Kilda
Eddie McGuire has drawn up a revolutionary blueprint on the future of the AFL that would see 20 teams competing by 2028.
The former Collingwood president and long-time football powerbroker believes the game has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to introduce a 19th and 20th franchise – with Tasmania and a combined Far North Queensland/Darwin side the most likely options.

But he sent a pointed warning to the Tasmanian Government and Premier Peter Gutwein, saying it needed to “step up or step out” or potentially “miss the boat again”.

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Eddie McGuire has unveiled his blueprint for the future of the AFL. Picture: Alex Coppel

Eddie McGuire has unveiled his blueprint for the future of the AFL. Picture: Alex Coppel
McGuire said unless the Tasmanian Government agreed to commit $20 million annually to the code and the new club — which included investment in a roofed stadium, better junior pathways, universities and sports medicine facilities — it could forfeit its last hope of having a stand-alone team.

“The time has come for the all parties promulgating a team in Tasmania to put up or shut up,” McGuire said on Footy Classified.

McGuire’s bold plan to push football’s boundaries into the next generation includes:

# A 20-round AFL season in which all teams would play each other once (19 rounds), which “fixes the fixture”, plus an extra round comprising Blockbuster/Showdown/Derby matches;

# An expanded 12-team finals series, which would add at least $20 million to the TV rights;

# At least three matches to be played on the west coast of the United States to tap into American markets; and,

# A proposal for one Victorian team to be Tasmania’s “breakthrough” side until the stand-alone team is ready in 2028.

Eddie McGuire is pushing for a senior Tasmanian team in the AFL. Picture: Matt Thompson

Eddie McGuire is pushing for a senior Tasmanian team in the AFL. Picture: Matt Thompson
That Victorian “breakthrough” team — which he suggested could be North Melbourne given it already has a contract to play matches in Hobart — would be allocated four “home” and four “away” matches in Tasmania between seasons 2022 and 2027, with a further 12 games played in Melbourne and only two matches in different states.

McGuire said the Tasmanian Government had to find the best venue for a new stadium with a retractable roof.

It is understood McGuire — who was on the AFL’s “coronavirus cabinet” last year — has already discussed his proposal with a range of AFL heavyweights including league chief executive Gillon McLachlan and other club presidents.

His message to the Tasmanian Premier — whose Government will face an election on May 1 — was pointed: “You can have a stand-alone team in the AFL competition in 2028.

“(But) from this year you need to contribute not $10m but $20m per season indexed forever.

“You also need to hit the Federal Government up for a further $20m.

“The AFL will be in for a similar amount and you will need to find $10m-15m in commercial profit to make this work.

“In the next six years you (Tasmania) need to declare you are all in (for) AFL men’s and women’s football.”

McGuire said Tasmania under Gutwein would need to build pathway programs, scholarships and talent identification programs to contribute six players per year into the AFL Draft.

“You are averaging two at the moment,” he said of Tasmania.

“Sandringham Dragons average six from their catchment area. (That’s) not too much to ask.

“Premier, you need to decide where your ground is and to get a gold star your state needs a stadium with a roof on it.”

Part of the funding would come from infrastructure/health/education and tourism budgets.

“The economic impact more than covers the cost,” he said.

McGuire said a Victorian team could safeguard their future forever by choosing to be a part-time Tassie team for the next six seasons.

He once considered Collingwood playing a number of games on the Gold Coast after North Melbourne knocked back the AFL’s massive deal to base themselves up there at the end of 2007.

“It’s a competition challenge with a competition solution,” McGuire said on Footy Classified.

“A team has to decide it wants to be the Tasmanian breakthrough side.

“Let’s say it is North Melbourne. I (would) propose that North Melbourne play four home and four away games in Tasmania until 2028.

“They then get 12 games in Melbourne and play two interstate. Members would receive free KAYO (deals) and deals to travel to Tasmania.

“The four away games (would) come from AFL assisted clubs.

“One game per year (would be) a blockbuster versus a BIG club with a full festival of football scheduled in Tasmania with (AFL) Commission/President’s meetings, media relocation and symposiums to generally show we love them and are building something fantastic.

“At the end North (would be) seen as a great contributor to the competition. They get as many games in their home city as every non-Victorian team and their future is assured.”

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Premiership Player
Sep 20, 2009
AFL Club
St Kilda
I was with him until he suggested 20 games for the year and 12 teams in finals. Ridiculous.

Top 8 works fine, and I hate those advocating for a shorter season.

Also the other thing that I think is stupid is playing games in America. If they want to watch our game, they can. We don't need to pointlessly chase eyeballs. The absolute last thing we need is to start changing the game to appease Americans, although it does feel like the supposed AFL powerbrokers are already desperate to emulate US sports as much as possible.

If Eddie wants a team to play extra games in Tassie for a few years, he should be volunteering Collingwood to do it. All well and good to throw someone elses club under the bus.

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A Vote for Clive is a Vote for Justice
Aug 11, 2006
AFL Club
Other Teams
Timberwolves, Crystal Palace
Who gives a sh*t, none of these dumb rule changes, relocations ect are pie in the sky fantasy sh*t untill we can sort out the real issue facing the AFL. ******* give us multiple footballs at one time in a match. If we can't sort out Multiball we are doomed as a sport.

master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
AFL Club
1. Darwin - no thanks. Too hot. Too slippery. Population too small. A 20th team should be a 3rd WA team. They have the population, the interest level, the stadium etc.

2. 12 teams finals - absolutely not. At most finals should be 50% of teams. The current set up of 8 from 18 works nicely.

3. Roofed stadium - nope. I get the fat cats like Eddie like to be comfortable but games will always be split between Hobart and Launceston. This idea of building a new stadium at all sounds like a horrendous waste of tax payer money. To put a roof on it is bonkers. Hobart is a big country town, everyone who wants to go to the footy can find their way over a bridge. The 'inner city stadium' idea is nonsense, it's not even a city.

4. West Coast US games - stop it, no.

5. 'Breakthrough tenet'. What on earth is that? The current partnerships that Hawthorn and North use work well for those clubs and have shown Tasmanians are interesting in AFL footy (not that it was ever in doubt) and that people travel down there for games. It makes sense that those arrangements are continued but scaled back as a Tassie team comes in. Possibly drop down to 2 games a year in each town in the last year. Tassie won't need more games before their team comes in, go with less and make everyone hungry for the launch of the proper side.


Premiership Player
Mar 2, 2003
AFL Club
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
I want Tassie and Canberra to get the 19th and 20th licenses.
Yes Canberra is the better option here.

Population of 500k in Canberra/Queanbeyan region
Within driving distance from VIC and traditional AFL supporting towns of Albury and Wagga.
More attractive for corporate sponsors/politicians to attend.
Plus it would enable GWS to focus on the Sydney market with maybe the odd game in Newcastle.

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