Jeff Kennett has the ‘essential ingredients’ to be Melbourne President says AFL Chief

June 7, 2013

AFL chief executive, Andrew Demetriou believes Jeff Kennett is up to the task of running Australian Rules team, Melbourne.

Former Victorian premier and Hawthorn AFL club president Kennett has put his hand up to challenge current Demons president Don McLardy and take over the troubled club.

“He had a great record as premier and he was terrific at Hawthorn so he’s got the credentials but it’s not a decision for the AFL. It’s a decision for the members of the Melbourne Football Club,” Demetriou told radio station 3AW.

“They’ve got elections at the end of each year and at the moment it’s Don McLardy as chairman.

“If they decide to take a different direction it’s their perogative.”

Demetriou said Kennett had the ‘essential ingredients’ to be the Demons president.

“Jeff has demonstrated that he’s talented and he’s capable of effecting change and delivering on outcomes.”

The Demons are reportedly going to apply to the AFL for emergency funding next week, with the club facing a 2013 loss of close to $3 million.

Melbourne are set to argue that additional AFL financial assistance would provide more long-term value to the competition than a slow rebuild back to competitiveness.

Meanwhile, Demetriou defended newcomers Greater Western Sydney, who Kennett described as the AFL’s ‘Gallipoli’.

Kennett said the AFL risked crippling the rest of the clubs with its financial support for GWS, now in their second season.

“I fear we are on the verge within the AFL of committing our own Gallipoli, where leadership is not flexible enough to say we’ve made a mistake,” Kennett said.

Demetriou said Kennett was a great advocate for the expansion club during his time at the Hawks.

“We have always said it was a long term vision,” Demetriou said.

“Between 1990 and 1994 the Swans lost 27 games in a row.

“They had 3000 members in 1993, 3300 in 1994, 6000 in 1995 and GWS have 12,500 members.

“Off field they’ve got very good sponsorship and higher crowds than the Swans had, they are just losing games.

“I think they’re going to be a very good club.”