Fans thank Gillon McLachlan for his service as AFL CEO


AFL fans have thanked AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan for his significant contribution to football following his announcement that he will stand down at the end of the 2022 season.

AFL Fans Association president Cheryl Critchley says the job of AFL CEO is always difficult, with many stakeholders to consider, as well as the game’s overall health.

“Given the competing needs and views of stakeholders, such as fans, players, clubs, sponsors and TV rights holders, the job of AFL CEO is always a balancing act,” Cheryl says.

“Gill generally did a great job. He also tried to listen to fans and engaged with the AFL Fans Association when we raised issues with him.

“Gill and his team responded to several of our requests, including more Grand Final tickets for competing club members, which rose from 15,000 to 17,000 per club following an AFLFA petition, and our call to reinstate banners last year after Covid forced them from the field.

“We thank Gill for his service and wish him well in whatever comes next.”

Gillon McLachlan’s legacy includes:

  • Keeping the AFL financially strong and increasing TV rights revenue
  • Introducing the AFLW and increasing the involvement of girls and women in football
  • A focus on general admission and finals ticket affordability, at least in Victoria
  • Steering the AFL through the pandemic.

While the overall competition is healthy, Cheryl says fans would like the new AFL CEO to consider issues raised in the first AFL fan survey such as umpiring/rule changes, gambling ads and scheduling.

She says fans would generally like to see the following moving forward:

  • Minimise rule changes and their impact on umpiring
  • Reduce reliance on gambling ads and revenue
  • Minimise mid-week games
  • Simplify ticketing
  • Reduce the cost of reserved seats nationally, and general admission outside Victoria
  • Keep overall costs as low as possible across Australia – not just Victoria
  • More Grand Final tickets for competing club members.

More information: AFLFA president Cheryl Critchley or Spokesperson Ron Issko on Email: