Kennett backs Tasmanian commitment - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kennett backs Tasmanian commitment

16/11/2010 06:22:05 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says the AFL club's task of extending its contract to play matches in Tasmania was made much more difficult because of an AFL-supported counter bid by North Melbourne.

North Melbourne had offered to play seven home games annually in Hobart and Launceston from 2012 onwards.

But the Tasmanian government announced on Monday that it had chosen instead to extend the decade-long deal with the Hawks.

The 2012-16 contract extension - involving four home and away games and one pre-season fixture at Aurora Stadium each year - is worth $16 million to the Hawks.

"I'm not annoyed (with North Melbourne) in one sense because I know they were approached by the Tasmanian government to put forward a proposition," Kennett told Triple M Radio on Tuesday.

"They did put forward a proposition for seven games and that was very heavily supported by the AFL, because the AFL saw that as a helpful move for North Melbourne.

"That therefore made our task of continuing the contract very, very hard indeed because the AFL have a lot of weight, a lot of influence and a lot of money.

"But in the end from our point of view it wasn't about money.

"We actually like being in Tassie and we like the relationships we have developed.

"I don't blame North Melbourne.

"They were approached, they responded and obviously their board agreed they could play seven games down there and that hasn't happened."

Kennett and North Melbourne president James Brayshaw both said the door remained open for the Kangaroos to sign a separate deal to play a handful of games each year at Hobart's Bellerive Oval.

The Hawks have been playing home matches in Tasmania since 2001.

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