Lawyer takes on the Dees presidency

Former Victorian treasurer Alan Stockdale has lost out in his bid to become the president of the Melbourne Football Club, with lawyer Glen Bartlett taking on the top role.
Nanjing Night Net

Bartlett was appointed president after a board meeting on Friday. He now faces the job of helping to rebuild a club that is struggling financially and set to lose about $1.5 million this season, and also pursuing a new coach and head of football.

”I am excited by the challenge and look forward to working with the club’s stakeholders to make the Melbourne Football Club strong and successful,” he said.

By having a president in place, the Demons believe they can sell stability to a prospective coach.

Lawyer Chris Lovell, a national managing partner of Holding Redlich and a long-time Demons supporter, had also expressed his interest in the key role.

Stockdale had pushed hard for the presidency, and had even established a website to attract support.

”It got lots of activity, particularly on Facebook, and lots of support, but the AFL has its own way of doing things,” Stockdale told Fairfax Media. ”I congratulate Glen Bartlett. I certainly wish him well. Nothing would please me more than for the club to get the best possible people into the coaching position, the football manager, the recruitment and every other vacant position in the club and to see Melbourne with a plan to head back to success. I wish them well.”

There had been questions as to how well Stockdale, the Liberal Party national president, could work with the no-nonsense Jackson. He will not seek a spot on the board, with three positions still up for grabs. ”I am not interested in going on the board,” Stockdale said.

Bartlett, who played with the West Coast Eagles in their first AFL season, joined the Demons’ board in July. He replaces interim president Peter Spargo. Former chief Don McLardy stepped down in June.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon, who was on the board nominations committee, said Bartlett would make the necessary changes after the league-endorsed decision.

”Glen Bartlett is very well credentialled in both a football and business sense, and has the support of the AFL in leading the Melbourne Football Club board as it moves to take the club into an era of sustained competitiveness and success,” Dillon said on Friday.

”Glen’s extensive experience with football in Western Australia and his passion for the Melbourne Football Club, combined with an impressive legal career, means he has the right skills and insights to lead the Demons at this critical time.”

Bartlett, a father of four boys, will give his maiden address ahead of the Demons’ clash against Fremantle at the MCG on Sunday.

He had been a managing partner of law firm Clayton Utz until recently. In a distinguished career, he had also been president of the WAFL Players Association and had established a sports management business with John Worsfold, the former Eagles premiership captain and now coach.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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