Don McLardy Quits as Melbourne President

By Community | June 14, 2013

Australina Football League (AFL) club Melbourne are in dire straits after Don McLardy quit as their president.

Vice president Peter Spargo will become President on an interim basis.

The Demons, who have a 1-10 record in 2013 and have refused to guarantee coach Mark Neeld’s future for the rest of the season, made a submission to the AFL Commission on Friday seeking extra funding and assistance.

“At a meeting of the board this afternoon, I formally advised my fellow board members that I was standing down as president of the club and resigning as a director effective immediately,” McLardy said in a letter to members on the club’s website.

“There are two main reasons for this difficult decision. From a personal perspective, the imminent partial sale of my business, the success of which depends on the next 12 months performance, means I cannot continue to dedicate the time and effort required to what is an extremely challenging role.

“However, just as important is the recognition that our club as a whole is not performing as we expected, and as explained in my president’s speech on Monday change is required and members deserve to see a clear path forward for our club with new leadership, direction and energy as soon as possible.”

McLardy has been involved in a public slanging match with former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett. The ex-Victorian premier has flagged his interest in replacing McLardy.

Melbourne’s poor form is having a negative effect on the entire league, the club’s chief executive Peter Jackson said on Friday.

‘It’s a package of things we’ve asked for. It does involve developing our list,’ Jackson said after a meeting with the AFL Commission.

“But it also involves restructuring the club. “We got a good feeling from in there. It was positive.

“They understand the impact we’re having on the whole competition at the moment.”

Spargo Takes Over, Changes Afoot

After secuting the role Interim President Peter Spargo said: “On behalf of the Board of the Melbourne Football Club, I would like to sincerely thank Don McLardy for his profound contribution to the Club over the past five years.  Don stepped up during a very difficult time for our Club during Jim’s illness. Don has always focused on the Club first in all aspects of our life. As President, Don and his family have fully committed themselves to the Club and Don was the key orchestrator of the Foundation Heroes program, a program which today has over 460 members.”

In addition, Board member Stuart Grimshaw has today tendered his resignation effective immediately.  Grimshaw joined the board in 2008 and has been a key member of the Finance and Audit Committee.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Stuart Grimshaw who today stood down as a Board member.  He made it clear earlier this year he would have to step aside given other commitment as CEO of Bank of Queensland and President of Hockey Australia. Although Stuart is leaving, his passion for 

Demons will always continue and we thank him for his outstanding service.”

“As we stated last week, the Board has appointed Board member John Trotter, a former managing partner of Deloitte, to evaluate current board processes and structures, the composition and skill of the board and assess the overall performance.”

“We see this as a critical process in the rejuvenation of the Melbourne Football Club Board. As part of this rejuvenation, the Board will search for the very best people to take our club forward.”

“John Trotter will present key findings and recommendations to the board at the July meeting.”