Figurehead of Aussie Rules says scandal in the sport has nothing to do with announcement.
Andrew Demetriou has announced he will leave his current role as the AFL’s chief executive after spending 11 years in the role.
Demetriou made the shock announcement at a press conference just days out from the start of the 2014 season, saying he told AFL Commission Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick during a promotional trip to the Super Bowl earlier this year that this season will be his last in charge.
I advised Mike officially when we were both over at the Super Bowl that I intended to announce my resignation in early March,” Demetriou told the assembled media at AFL House.
“I’ve always said that it’s a privilige and an honour to serve the game.
“But I also believe that the time is right and I’ve always believed that, in my 11th year, any organisation needs renewal and needs a fresh set of eyes.”
“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.
“I leave the game with no regrets.”
Despite leading the game through one of its darkest times in the wake of the Essendon supplements scandal, Demetriou says he has no regrets while in charge.
When asked if the Bombers situation, which Demetriou was critised for his his handling of, weighed on his mind and led him to quit, he replied no.
Essendon’s future still hangs in the balance, and with the players involved in the scandal, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Jake Melksham, Heath Hocking, Michael Hibberd, Kyle Hardingham, Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Ricky Dyson (Bundoora), Sam Lonergam (Glenelg), Scott Gunbleton (Fremantle), Alex Browne, Tayte Pears, Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell, now being named, the final season sill could have its fair share of plot twists to it yet for Demetriou.