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AFL CEO Announces Retirement

AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder has announced that CEO Gillon McLachlan had advised the AFL Commission of his resignation, which will become effective at the conclusion of 2022.

Mr Goyder said that following the successful conclusion of the NAB AFLW season at the weekend Mr McLachlan had informed the Commission of his intention to leave the role but has also agreed he would stay through the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season to ensure a number of key strategic projects were completed.

By the time he finishes at the AFL, Mr McLachlan will have served nine seasons as CEO, having been appointed in 2014. He previously held the positions of Deputy Chief Executive officer, Chief Operating Officer, General Manager of Commercial and Strategic Planner, during a career that began with the League in 2000.

Mr Goyder said Mr McLachlan had overseen extraordinary growth in the game across all measures from industry revenue to community participation, membership and broadcast ratings, as well as spearheading the introduction of the AFLW competition that had driven a doubling of the number of girls and women participating in the game.

“Throughout his time as CEO, Gillon has focused on the supporters, ensuring the game remained affordable and accessible,” Mr Goyder said.

“Under his leadership the AFL has introduced initiatives such as the soft cap to ensure greater competitive balance and that any team could win on any given day – a key guiding principle that he outlined to the Commission when he applied for the role in 2014.

“His commercial acumen has resulted in extraordinary growth in our broadcast rights and our AFL industry revenue, but his commitment to local community football has ensured that financial growth has been shared across our game and been channelled into greater investment in local infrastructure and an exponential growth in the facilities and programs that provide an inclusive environment for girls and women.”

Mr Goyder said Mr McLachlan’s leadership, strategic ability and strong relationships across football, Government, and community had come to the fore in successfully steering the code through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As an industry, we owe Gillon a debt for his ability to lead his team at the AFL and the wider industry and ensure that every part of the football community worked together to get through Covid. Again, Gill was driven by bringing all 18 AFL clubs and 14 AFLW teams through the pandemic in strong shape, but also ensuring we continued to support community football to get back up and going again.

“He knows how important football is to the community – and I think that commitment to local football and access for all will be one of the legacies when he does finish later in the year, along with his commitment to changing the culture of the industry and championing greater gender equity across the AFL and clubs. He should be truly proud of the way he and his team have shaped the AFL, its competitions, its culture and its community.”

Mr Goyder said that Mr McLachlan would finish at the end of 2022 and had committed to completing a number of key strategic projects.

Taken from AFL Australia. 

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