Jackson move bad for football

Tuesday, April 22

WHY did the piano accordion-playing AFL chief executive Wayne Jackson walk out when he did?

Surely you wait until the end of the football season before announcing your resignation, it gives the AFL a couple of months to hunt around for a replacement.

To walk out in round three and say you will still be involved in football but not the AFL seems strange.

I might have it wrong, but it seems to me he was pushed.

At his age, he's just turned 59, you usually move on to something, but he doesn't have anything planned. If that's resigning then it's a strange resignation.

I was mystified when Sydney's Daryn Cresswell announced his retirement earlier this year but is playing out 2003.

If Cresswell has a good season then they will want him to play on, it just doesn't make sense.

Now we have Andrew Demetriou who seems and should be favourite for the AFL's top job.

If he gets overlooked will he stay on at the AFL? The league could lose not only Jackson but also his support act.

You will have every AFL club pushing forward their favourite choice.

Already Geelong president Frank Costa has backed his CEO Brian Cook to take over the reins, and you can bet there will be men of influence from 15 other clubs putting up their preferred candidate.

It all ends up being a bunfight during the season when we should be concentrating on the football.

Already there have been grumblings that the AFL-TV rights deal has cost too much.

And there are other sports in the market for more supporters. The government is prepared to bankroll soccer for whatever it takes to get us a berth in the World Cup. Football doesn't need to be rudderless for four or five months.