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Eddie asked if he would take AFL CEO job
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the AFL’s next CEO must be “someone who understands football”.
Current CEO Gillon McLachlan this week announced his decision to walk away from the role at season’s end, igniting a search to replace him in one of Australian sport’s most prestigious roles.
McLachlan’s successor remains a mystery as a host of potential candidates emerge.
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Complicating matters, leading AFL journalist Caroline Wilson said current AFL executives Andrew Dillon, Travis Auld and Kylie Rogers are the three top candidates but are individuals that wouldn’t please the 18 clubs.
“There are three names the AFL is throwing up. Realistically, the two most key candidates in the AFL are Andrew Dillon and Travis Auld. Kylie Rogers is there too,” Wilson said on Nine’s Footy Classified.
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“But I honestly believe that the majority of the clubs do not think that one of those individuals should be running the AFL.”
Looking at the leaders from the clubs, Wilson said Richmond CEO Brendon Gale and Swans boss Tom Harley, both of whom are former players, would get the most support.
“The contenders from clubland, Brendon Gale – hot favourite… and a little outsider, Tom Harley,” Wilson added.
“Probably not quite there yet, but if clubs are nominating anyone who might be right in a few years, it’s Tom Harley.”
The attention quickly turned to McGuire, who was pressed by Wilson on whether he would consider running for the top job.
McGuire jokingly said he would send his “submission to the head-hunters tomorrow” before admitting, “I haven’t even thought about it”.
“It’s not something that’s ever been on my radar. I will say no now.”
McGuire outlined a list of current issues that would need to be addressed by the game’s next CEO.
“For Brendon Gale, I look at him and go, former player – there’s no former player on the commission at the moment or on the senior executive ranks other than Brad Scott,” McGuire said.
“He was in charge of the AFLPA. For me, the biggest things going forward are going to be concussion, player health and welfare, Tasmania and the impact on lists – he ticks a lot of those things off.
“Andrew Dillon has been there since 2000, he’s big on all these things as well.
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“I think once Gillon McLachlan, if he closes the deal on the TV rights and these other things, I think we have to get back to someone who understands football.
“We have to get grassroots growing again. There’s going to be a massive drama with the women’s and the men’s, and if we bring in another team, I’m just really conscious that we’re really thinning out.”
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