From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

AFL Tasmania will not enter a new three-year agreement with AFL Victoria while the future of the VFL remains unknown.

The Devils three-year VFL license expires at the end of this season.

AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker and general manager Scott Wade discussed the situation with AFL Victoria chairman Bob Tregear and chief executive Peter Schwab late yesterday.

The AFL is currently reviewing the second-tier competition. A report is to be handed down later this year.

The review is believed to focus on the competitions or teams where AFL-listed players will play when not selected in their senior teams.

Schwab, a former Hawthorn player and coach, said the review has made it hard for VFL clubs to plan for the future.

"Until they complete that review we are all sort of guessing really," Schwab said yesterday.

"It's safe to say it has caused a lot of uneasiness with most of our VFL clubs.

"Whether that is well-founded no one can tell because we don't know what the outcome or the recommendations are going to be."

Wade said AFL Tasmania was as up in the air as anybody.

"From AFL Tasmania's point of view, we are not automatically going to launch into discussions about renewing our VFL licence agreement for a further three years without knowing what the outcome of the second-tier review is," Wade said.

"We are certainly happy to continue to play in the VFL competition. However, it might not be the only alternative we have to consider."

It is believed alternate options for the Devils could include entry into the strong South Australian National Football League.

There have been suggestions AFL clubs are keen to increase their playing lists from 38, pulling out of their VFL alignments and re-forming a quasi-reserves competition.

Wade said that if that happened, the Devils would reconsider staying in the VFL.

"If that did happen, and if there was no other initiative as a result of that decision, then just playing in the VFL competition without AFL players is probably not something we would be that interested in," he said.

Schwab said if such a move did happen as a result of the review, it could put the VFL's future in trouble.

"That is a really difficult situation because financially that will put a lot of VFL clubs under pressure," Schwab said.

"You would have to go back and think how those clubs that are left out of that arrangement are going to operate. That would be the decision to be made if that occurs."

Wade believes the main option is to retain the current structure but said there could be a third alternative.

"My belief is that there is no reason why AFL clubs can't operate in the VFL like Geelong currently do, and that is as a stand-alone team -- so that is a possibility," he said.

"There is no easy answer so we just to try to compromise between what the VFL and AFL clubs want when there is an alignment. There is never going to be one answer to it."