Premier sees light overfooty tender

19/05/2018 Posted by admin

DAVID Bartlett’s intention was good – in trying to extract better value for Tasmania out of its football sponsorship. But the Premier’s execution was poor. The tender seemed to be policy on the run. But we applaud the Premier for seeing the light after just one week and dropping the plan. So let’s move on. Mr Bartlett says a fifth roster game – probably in place of the pre-season game – would bump up the sponsorship’s return from $16 million a year to $20 million. The improvement on the current four roster and one pre-season game deal should therefore be an exciting prospect not just for fans but for business right across the State. Hawthorn prides itself on working hard to earn the right to a contract renewal beyond 2011. Delivering an extra roster game would surely guarantee that. The question is how much would the sponsorship cost? The Premier has indicated he doesn’t want the Government to spend any more than the current $3 million a year “in real terms”. That could be interpreted as allowing some wriggle room to partner with a private investor or bump up the sponsorship in line with inflation. We would hope that Hawthorn wouldn’t start renegotiations with an ambit claim, given it now has a strong membership base that could exceed 10,000 in Tasmania by 2012 when a new contract would start. You can bet the club will be after a clause that no other team plays “home” games in Launceston for the duration of the Hawks contract. That’s where Mr Bartlett might need to be careful. But as Hawthorn’s president Jeff Kennett has said, debating the terms and conditions at this point is like crystal ball gazing. The renegotiations won’t begin until after the March 2010 State election. At least Labor and the Liberals have both endorsed a continuation of the Hawthorn sponsorship. Now the Tasmanian Greens need to concede it has great social and economic value. We urge them to recognise the Northern Tasmanian community’s support for football, not just as a sport but as a business driver. – FIONA REYNOLDS, editor
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