Former Geelong president and AFL Commissioner Colin Carter. Picture: AFL Photos

The AFL today announced that former Geelong Cats President and AFL Commissioner Colin Carter has been appointed to review the business case for a 19th licence in Tasmania.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said Mr Carter, who has been involved in football for more than 35 years and was also the founding partner of Boston Consulting Group’s Australian operation, had agreed to undertake the review of the submission provided by the Tasmanian Taskforce, led by Bret Godfrey.

Mr McLachlan said he had spoken to Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein, Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett and North Melbourne Chairman Ben Buckley, who all supported the appointment of Mr Carter.

"Colin Carter has been a leading administrator in football and was instrumental in providing the framework for the national competition and the key tenets of equalisation, which has made our game so strong," Mr McLachlan said.

"Colin is renowned for his vision and also his commitment to governance.  He has made an incredible contribution to Australian football as a consultant, as a club director, AFL Commissioner and long-serving President of the Geelong Cats.  He understands football, he understands community and the importance of the game, and he understands the economics and structure of our competition at each of the national, club and community levels."

Mr McLachlan said he had agreed with the Tasmanian Premier that Mr Carter would complete his review of the Taskforce submission for a 19th licence for Tasmania by mid-year, however Mr Carter’s review would not be considered by the AFL Commission until the end of the year when there was a clearer picture of any Covid-19 impact on the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season.  

The AFL strategy team, led by Executive General Manager Walter Lee, would also provide support to Mr Carter as he looked into the requirements and pre-conditions for a successful and sustainable team and the impact on the competition of a Tasmanian team, if a licence was granted.

Mr Carter began his career in football in 1985, when as a consultant to the then-VFL commission he authored the strategy that laid out the national competition, the equalisation strategies (draft, salary cap, revenue sharing and reduced list sizes) and ground rationalisation that now underpin the AFL competition.

He served as a Geelong Football Club director from 1988-93 before joining the AFL commission, where he served until 2008, when he re-joined the Cats’ Board and served as President for a decade.

"I look forward to the work ahead of me in this role, and reporting back to the AFL competition, the clubs, the commission and the wider fans and supporters in every part of our game," Mr Carter said.

"Our game has had a deep connection within communities for more than 150 years and I have always placed great importance on both maintaining those links and building our strength into the future as our game and our communities continue to evolve and develop."