AFL Melbourne Board Denies Sacking Of Mark Neeld Due To Finances
A proposed move by Australian Football League Melbourne Football Club board to remove coach Mark Neeld and temporarily replace him with former Adelaide coach Neil Craig "was derailed at Monday's lengthy board meeting" by the Demons' new CEO, Peter Jackson, according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. To sack Neeld now would cost the Demons an estimated A$600,000 ($586,000), and the club "does not have that amount at its disposal." However, the prevailing view on Monday was that timing, and not the club's ailing bank balance, "handed Neeld what can only be described as a reprieve." The board "remains virtually united that Neeld must go," but Monday's meeting "saw support for the coach from Craig, who was clearly not pushing to step in." The reality is that Neeld's sacking "is no longer a decision but a negotiation." Jackson, who outlined his vision to redesign the club's "dysfunctional football operation" with a clear priority to appoint a new football operations boss, "was also cautious about a move on the coach" (THE AGE, 6/4).