Eddie McGuire isn’t hiding the first thing he wants the new AFL chief executive to do.
“Hopefully the first thing Andrew Dillon does is go hire Brendon Gale,” McGuire told Nine’s. Eddie and Jimmy Podcast.
Dillon was announced Monday as the man who will replace Gillon McLachlan at the league’s top job.
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His appointment finally puts an end to a long and highly criticized search for the next CEO.
And while Dillon won’t officially take over from McLachlan until later this year, McGuire has already given him the first order of business.
Gale is the CEO and Executive Director of Richmond, but has been offered a number of head office positions in the past. He was seen as a leading candidate to succeed McLachlan when the current boss first announced he was leaving the job.
The AFL has been in the hunt for a new Chief Football Officer since the loss of Brad Scott as Essendon coach late last year – a role that Gale may find appealing.
“One of my criticisms for a long time has been the diminishing position of head of football,” McGuire told the podcast after Dillon’s appointment was announced.
“We need someone who understands the game in this position, and it has to be an exalted position.
“We need Brendon Gale to help run the game because the rules are going to change due to a concussion, but what we don’t want is someone in there who is a nervous Nelly and that changes the game so that I can’t figure it out.”
Podcast co-host and Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel suggested Gale could be used elsewhere at the head office.
“Don’t we need Brendon Gale to lead Tasmania? Bartel asked, referring to the AFL’s commitment to put a new team in the southernmost state.
“Fully dedicated…because this (Tasmanian expansion) needs to get started.”
McGuire explained that he wanted the AFL to create a new position to put Gale in charge of football and expansion.
“I think he has to be the CEO of football and expansion,” McGuire said.
The federal government announced $240 million in funding on Saturday to help build a new stadium in Hobart.
But the expansion has yet to be informed by existing AFL clubs, who will vote on the idea.
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