AFL great Brad Johnson has warned Collingwood to find the right replacement for CEO Mark Anderson if the club wants to remain in the premiership hunt.
Anderson this week tendered his resignation after five years in the role, with general manager of football Graham Wright to serve as interim CEO.
Anderson’s resignation means there are now three vacant club CEO positions – with Essendon and North Melbourne on the hunt, along with the AFL after Gillon McLachlan’s mid-year announcement.
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“Collingwood to me is probably the most important of the three (teams) in terms of where they are on the ladder,” Johnson said on SEN.
“The biggest challenge for Collingwood is they go from a position they were (in 2021), fly this year – all of a sudden they’re in a top six draw and that’s going to be a lot tougher.
“To win a flag, it’s full club stability. On field they’ve got that exactly right and (coach) Craig McRae has created a real stable environment. Can (Wright) go now from running an unbelievable football department to running an unbelievable club and keeping that stable?
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“That’s what they need to get right.
“The person who enters the four walls of the Collingwood Football Club needs to hit the ground running – compared to Essendon and North Melbourne who are building.”
AFL commentator Dwayne Russell agreed the Magpies CEO appointment was “critical” to the club’s chance of success.
“Good CEOs provide a platform for success. Flags can never be guaranteed but finals will follow if you get your appointment right,” he said on SEN.
“You won’t have success if you pick the wrong man.
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“One bad appointment can create five years of turmoil.”
Russell suggested former Bombers CEO Xavier Campbell could be in the running to replacement Anderson while Johnson said he’d like to see Geelong general manager Simon Lloyd considered.
“The one name for me that I could be going to chase is Simon Lloyd from the Geelong footy club,” Johnson said.
“Simon has got the experience from a number of different platforms over a period of time and what he’s been able to do in helping set up the stability at the Cats and the way they do things from a football point of view has been huge.”
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AFL journalist Peter Ryan agreed there could be an “opportunity” for Lloyd, who is currently in the US with Cats star Patrick Dangerfield at Harvard.
“I know initially when he got out of coaching he got into the footy manager role. He’s now had premiership success in that role,” he said on SEN.
“(He’s) the sort of people clubs really need to start thinking about taking a risk on.”