Australian Football League Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan’s "widely anticipated appointment to the AFL’s top job is expected to come within a week and could be announced in the coming days as the commission wraps up a two-month executive search" for CEO Andrew Demetriou’s replacement, according to Caroline Wilson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The South Australian, who joined the AFL with Demetriou in '00 and rose to the exec three years later, "is understood to have shored up his position after the league’s headhunters Egon Zehnder fielded approaches from more than 100 male and female candidates." McLachlan "knocked back an approach to head the newly restructured National Rugby League at the end of 2012." It "has not been revealed whether the AFL targeted outside candidates." At least five club chiefs -- Brian Cook, Stuart Fox, Brendon Gale, David Matthews and Gary Pert -- "were approached, with at least two -- Fox and Pert -- declining interviews" (SMH, 4/28). In Sydney, Robinson & Baker wrote Demetriou could make way for McLachlan by mid-season if "the deputy chief executive wins the race." An announcement "is expected within a fortnight." Demetriou had said that "he would stay on until the end of the year, but it is understood he is open to an early exit in the event of a handover to McLachlan." If it is not an internal appointment, Demetriou "would almost certainly stay until the end of the season" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/28). In Melbourne, Wilson wrote the leadership void at the helm of Australian football "appears to be nearing an end." Evidence "was mounting" that the most powerful man in football was not AFL Commission Chair Mike Fitzpatrick nor Demetriou, but Collingwood President Eddie McGuire. The "good news for the AFL" is that near-certain new chief McLachlan "comes heavily recommended by McGuire." It "is true that most clubs back McLachlan, but having McGuire onside is the trump card." McGuire as the true power in the AFL system "is helped by the fact he sits on most AFL working parties that matter." When the league needs to bring clubs on board, "it enlists McGuire." Ditto "when it needs to win over the public" (THE AGE, 4/28).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Retiring German Tennis Federation (DTB) President Karl Altenburg "has taken offense to the 'bullshit' accusations of German player Tommy Haas," according to the SID. Altenburg said, "Simply this word choice disqualifies his statements, in which he also called for a paid president." Haas "criticized the DTB's organizational structure in an interview on Sunday." He said, "As DTB president you should be able to make something happen and not only do it halfheartedly on the side. It has to be somebody who knows the sport well and most of all it should be a full-time job. A little DTB president on the side is absolute bullshit!" Haas' personal favorite for the position of DTB president "is former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich" (SID, 4/28).
Racing Victoria is "making moves to increase its legislative influence after an ugly stoush between Victoria’s two biggest clubs in which the governing body has been powerless to intervene," according to Bartley & Banks of THE AGE. Melbourne Racing Club last week "condemned the Victoria Racing Club’s decision to deny the Caulfield Cup winner an exception from being re-handicapped for the Melbourne Cup, prompting calls for Racing Victoria to step in and sort out the situation." But Racing Victoria Limited, despite being created 12 years ago, "is still not legislated to overturn any Victorian club decision and there is growing pressure for the governing body to be given the authority to handle all racing matters." RVL CEO Bernard Saundry said that he believed all elements of the racing program "should be decided by RVL and that model would ensure the best interests of the entire industry." Saundry said this position "was not a response to the VRC’s decision to decline the MRC’s request." Saundry: “This is a process that we commenced at the end of 2013 with the release of our strategic plan” (THE AGE, 4/28).