AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou speaks during a press conference in Melbourne, Monday, March 3, 2014. AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has announced that he will quit the role at the end of the 2014 season, his 11th at the helm.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou speaks during a press conference in Melbourne, Monday, March 3, 2014. AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has announced that he will quit the role at the end of the 2014 season, his 11th at the helm. AAP Image - David Crosling

Demetriou resignation puts AFL on hunt for new CEO

LEAGUE powerbrokers will spend the next three months finding a replacement for chief executive Andrew Demetriou who announced yesterday he would stand down at the end of this season after 11 years as the game's most powerful figure.

The 52-year-old said he told AFL Commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick that he had decided to quit the $2 million-a-year role while the pair was at last month's NFL Super Bowl in New Jersey.

Demetriou, who has overseen the expansion of the competition from 16 to 18 teams, and helped secure a media rights deal worth $1.25 billion, said he was leaving the game with "no regrets" despite last year's supplements scandal at Essendon.

"Every organisation needs renewal, needs a new set of eyes," he said.

"I've always said it was a privilege and an honour to serve the game.

"I also believe the time is right. The growth of the game has been extraordinary. It's been a wonderful journey full of challenges but I wouldn't have it any other way."

Demetriou, who played 106 games for North Melbourne and Hawthorn over eight seasons during his playing career, said he hoped the year-long anti-doping saga at the Bombers would not dominate people's assessment of his time in charge.

"Hopefully people won't take a snapshot of one point in time," he said.

"Everything at the AFL has been done as a collective. We've achieved so much of what we've done as a collective. It will be for others to judge (whether I've done a good job)."

Deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan is regarded as the front-runner to replace Demetriou.


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