Legendary coach and Tasmanian taskforce advisor Alastair Clarkson has proposed a radical private equity model inspired by NFL team Green Bay Packers to fund a 19th AFL club in the Apple Isle, according to veteran journalist Caroline Wilson.
The suggested model would effectively see multiple local fans buy ownership of the team, as opposed to private control from one party.
Wilson reports that Clarkson, who’s been to Green Bay twice and was there earlier this month, pitched the idea during the taskforce’s last meeting with the AFL including head football Andrew Dillon, a meeting outgoing league boss Gillon McLachlan didn’t attend.
Stream every match of every round of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
NEW FOX FOOTY PODCAST – Mid-season grades for every club
Listen below or subscribe in Apple Podcasts or Spotify
It included a proposed entire capital base capped at $2,500 per person, with a minimum of $500, — which would mean there’s no one ownership with any massive stake in the club or with too much power over it.
Wilson also said the four-time premiership boss presented a goal to raise a $20 million future fund, which could build facilities like GWS at Breakfast Point and help with player retention.
It comes after Wilson reported in The Age on the weekend that Tasmania has submitted a $150 million plan to acquire an AFL license as the Apple Isle ramps up its bid to join the competition.
“A lot of rumours going around at the moment of private ownership of this team, and where the money is coming from,” Wilson told Channel 9’s Footy Classified.
“(Through Clarkson’s private equity model) You’d get a certificate and get called an owner. They’re planning on getting 30,000 members, that’s their ideal (target) for the first season.
“We’ll see, there’s still a lot of naysayers among the clubs, and still, believe it or not, a push to get North Melbourne there.”
Footy Classified host and SEN boss Craig Hutchison likened it to an “inflated version of a membership,” but believes private ownership would be the best avenue to land a team in Tasmania.
“If the government deal at its peak is available to a private enterprise owner, it’s a no-brainer for private ownership. I don’t think we’ll need the fans to do it,” he said.
“I think you’re going to be able to commercialise that part of it anyway.
“It’s interesting, clearly he’s (Clarkson) passionate about it. They must be uncertain about the funding model if they’re going to that length.”
A decision on whether to hand Tasmania the 19th license is expected to be made in August.
The AFL Commission will make the final call, however McLachlan has said a clear majority of clubs must be on board with the decision.