AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has just announced he will step down at the end of the 2014 season after 11 years in charge of the national league.
The father of four and former player announced his resignation this morning, having expanded the competition from 16 to 18 teams with the addition of the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney teams in 2011 and 2012, as well as signing a $1.25 billion, four-year TV rights deal in 2011, and establishing the digital AFL Media site.
But his leadership of the game as not been without scandalous moments, including salary cap rorting, doping allegations and his willingness to express opinions on clubs, most notably his 2005 comments about how the Sydney Swans wouldn’t win the flag while playing “unattractive” football. The Swans went on to win the Premiership that year, breaking a 72-year drought.
He also denied “tanking” occurred, but then went on fine the Melbourne Demons $500,000 in 2013 following an investigation into the issue.
Mr Demetriou said the growth of the game under his tenure has been “extraordinary” but it now “needs renewal and a fresh set of eyes”.
“I leave the game with no regrets,” he said.
Fighting back tears, an emotional Demetriou said he realised the other day that he’d spent half of his 52 years involved in the game.
He has no plans for the next step in his career, but it’s unlikely to be football-related. Demetriou said he’ll be “heading down to seek.com” and after spending time playing with his family, will be looking for work.
His nominated meeting his wife and having four children as the most important thing that happened during his time at the top of the AFL, and professionally, cited the return of AFL to Adelaide Oval.
While deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan has been tipped to take over the role, the Board has yet to name a successor and has enlisted an executive search firm to assist with the task.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.