Tasmania noise is nonsense: AFL club North

North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley has rubbished talk about a move for the club to Tasmania.
North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley has rubbished talk about a move for the club to Tasmania.

North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley has slammed speculation his AFL club could relocate to Tasmania as "complete nonsense" and "rumour mongering".

The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown has created much uncertainty throughout the AFL, with chief executive Gillon McLachlan attempting to end some of the conjecture on Tuesday by declaring it will remain an 18-club league.

McLachlan's comments came the morning after a segment on Nine Network's Footy Classified, which claimed multiple clubs and AFL officials were supportive of moving the Kangaroos to Tasmania.

"That's rumour mongering which is unnecessary, unwarranted and has no basis," Buckley told News Corp Australia.

"Any speculation is complete nonsense, is not on the agenda, is not being discussed and won't be discussed.

"I have never had one president discuss it with me, I've never had one CEO discuss it with myself, it's never been discussed with the AFL.

"It really is inaccurate, it's unhelpful, and ... bloody disappointing."

Corey McKernan, who won two flags at North during a decorated career, was likewise stunned to see speculation heating up yet again about shifting the club to Tasmania.

"It's just a ridiculous argument. You want a move a club that has made profits over the past 10 years, when there's others that are $13 million in debt," McKernan said on SEN.

"If the game is in trouble, why are you saying we should go? I live in Queensland and I want the Suns to do well because it's good for the game, but they are going spend hundreds of millions of dollars ensuring they can be successful.

"And you want North to go to Tasmania for financial reasons? It's so flawed it's not funny.

Meanwhile, North veteran Shaun Higgins suggested his teammates were ready to do whatever is required to complete a season in 2020.

"It's going to be a challenge for guys to back up if it is three-day or four-day breaks to get the games in, but ... we'll do what we've got to do," Higgins said.

"By the time that time comes around, we would have gone through far greater challenges than getting up for a game of footy in four days."

Australian Associated Press