Sport AFL Demetriou finishes at AFL House after 11 years

Demetriou finishes at AFL House after 11 years

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For the first time in 11 years, Andrew Demetriou will wake on Thursday morning without anything on his AFL to-do list.

His reign as AFL chief executive ends on Wednesday, his desk is cleared and “about 48 boxes” are ready to be delivered to his home from AFL House.

Demetriou’s only concern, after Wednesday night’s AFL Hall of Fame celebrations, might be ensuring the delivery guys don’t arrive too early.

At his last media conference, he gave the impression the end could not come soon enough.

“I’m pretty relieved,” he said.

“It’s been a long farewell. I can’t keep going to lunches and having nice things said about me continuously.”

After saying goodbye to staff on Thursday, Demetriou has a long weekend on the coast to look forward to, then a few weeks away.

He says the highlight of his long goodbye has been a “really special” dinner on Tuesday night thrown by his successor Gillon McLachlan and the AFL Commission.

Eddie McGuire, Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti, AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and McLachlan all spoke at the dinner with, Demetriou said, good humour.

But after a month spent saying goodbye, the long-time warrior for the code couldn’t resist one final spray.

In the climate of falling attendances and rising match-day costs for fans, he took aim at the Victorian Government after failing to invest in the MCG.

Reeling off the figures that other state governments have given to major stadium works, $50-odd million to the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), the stadium’s operators, seems to have been not enough.

“Here in Melbourne, it generates billions of dollars of economic activity, we pay $6.5 million to the MCC and I can tell you that would go a long way to help our Victorian clubs if we weren’t paying it,” he said.

“Whoever wins the next election, step up and support the MCC because it would help our competition.”

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