Eddie reveals first thing new CEO has to change

Eddie McGuire makes no bones about the first thing he wants the new AFL chief executive officer to do.

“I hope the first thing Andrew Dillon does is go down and hire Brendon Gale,” McGuire told Nine’s Eddie and Jimmy Podcast.

Dillon was on Monday announced as the man to replace Gillon McLachlan in the league’s top job.

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His appointment finally brings an end to a lengthy and much-criticised 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 floated for a number of positions at head office in the past. He was considered a leading candidate to take over from McLachlan when the current boss first announced he was leaving the job.

The AFL has been looking for a new general manager of football, since losing Brad Scott to the Essendon coaching gig late last year – a role that could appeal to Gale.

”One of my criticisms for a long time has been the lessening of the position of head of football,” McGuire told the podcast after Dillon’s appointment was announced.

“We need somebody who understands the game in that position, and it has to be an exalted position.

“We need Brendon Gale to help run football, because the rules are going to change because of concussion, but what we don’t want is someone in there who is a nervous Nelly and changes the game so I can’t understand it.”

Podcast co-host and Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel suggested Gale could be used elsewhere in head office.

“Don’t we need Brendon Gale to run Tasmania?” Bartel asked, referencing the AFL’s pledge to put a new team in the southern-most state.

“Fully dedicated… because this (Tasmanian expansion) has to hit the ground running.”

McGuire explained he wants the AFL to create a new position to put Gale in charge of both football and expansion.

”I think he has to be the CEO of football and expansion,” McGuire said.

The federal government on Saturday announced $240 million in funding to help build a new stadium in Hobart.

But the expansion still has to be green-lit by existing AFL clubs, who will take a vote on the idea.

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