DUBLINER Jim Stynes has become the first Irish-born chairman of an AFL club, but the Brownlow medallist has ordered a total review of the Melbourne Football Club, admitting there would be no quick fix to their woes.
The Melbourne chairman elect broke down at a press conference after taking control of the outfit, saying the challenge facing him was massive.
In an emotional address to the media, Stynes said further financial losses could see the club forced to relocate to the Gold Coast if changes were not made quickly.
Stynes recalled being recruited from Ireland 22 years ago and being taken straight to the MCG, which he was told was the club’s home. But the emotion proved too much when he described how he wanted son Teirnan, 3, to be able to watch the Demons at the same venue in future decades.
Stynes, 42, was elected unopposed at the MCG on Thursday night and joins six hand-picked running mates on the board, along with three current directors.
“No one standing here alongside me is underestimating the task ahead of us,” said Stynes. “Unfortunately there’s no easy fix for the problems we face.
We are in a precarious position. According to some reports, we could lose as much $1.5-$2 million (900, 000 to 1.2m) this year, be relocated to the Gold Coast, and are in danger of losing our blockbuster against the Magpies on the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
“The reality is that all these things are possible if we don’t turn things around and do it quickly.”
Stynes conceded the financial position was dire. “A benchmark study conducted by the AFL showed we are performing in the bottom quarter in 10 out of 17 benchmarks,” he said.
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