This morning we had a productive meeting with the AFL Commission, at which I advised them of my intentions to stand down as President of the Melbourne Football Club.
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.
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. This was a factor in my standing down as Chairman of the Reach Foundation last week, which most of you would be aware has been my other great passion.
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.
Part of this is the rejuvenation of the Board, and by me standing down the assessment process announced recently under the direction of the highly experienced John Trotter can proceed with clarity. The scope of the assessment includes Board processes, structures and alignment to the future direction and objectives of the Club, as well as a review of the current number of Directors, the balance of skills and the structure of sub committees.
With the recent appointment of CEO Peter Jackson, the business is in good hands and we have locked in a first class CEO who will continue to analyse critical areas of the club and restructure to industry best practice.
My goal for our Club has always been to help it find success and when initially asked by Jim Stynes to join his Board in 2008, I was eager to help in any way I could. It was not possible to foresee what would happen over the next five years, and as you are all aware we experienced many difficult periods including of course the tragic illness and subsequent death of Jim in 2012.
Throughout it all, even at times when it was extremely testing to remain focussed and positive about the future, I was constantly encouraged by many of you to keep going for which I am very grateful.
I leave disappointed about the lack of on field success, but extremely confident in the strength of the core of passionate Melbourne supporters who have stepped up to help over the last 5 years. From the Foundation Heroes to the new look Demon Army, I have called on many of you personally to increase your commitment level to our club and without fail you have responded.
My wife Clare and I have given everything we could to our club during our time on the Board, and have got much in return from those around us who share the passion and enjoyment of being involved in a great club like Melbourne.
There are some great Demon people inside and outside the Club who will take this Club forward and find success, and I ask you to keep supporting them in any way you can. I will of course continue to support the Club and volunteer my services however the Club needs me, and look forward to seeing you all as the club moves forward.