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AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou denies he was pushed

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou with his family.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou with his family. Photo: Getty Images

Outgoing AFL chief Andrew Demetriou says he's offended by a media report that he was pushed.

Demetriou announced last week that 2014 would be his final year in the top job, a position he has held since 2003.

Following a messy 2013 which included Essendon being fined $2 million and banned from that season's finals series because of their use of supplements, critics have been gunning for the league chief.

Essendon coach James Hird's 12-month suspension, handed down in August 2013, has also been a massive controversy for Demetriou.

A report in Saturday's The Australian newspaper described Demetriou as a dead man walking because of the Essendon issue and said the possibility that he was pushed out the door by the AFL Commission had force.

"Yeah, well it offended me because it was wrong," Demetriou told Fox Footy's On The Couch program on Monday night.

"I had made the decision a long time ago. I'd actually told a few people confidentially.

"So I don't know where he (journalist Patrick Smith) got that from. It's just wrong."

The AFL chief has also been heavily criticised in recent days following the league's announcement that he received a salary in 2013 of $3.8 million.

The enormous salary includes a $2 million bonus.

"I'm a public figure and we're just about a public company, the AFL," Demetriou said of the focus on his earnings.

"The fact is that it was a bonus paid over a three-year period and it vested at the end of 2012. I had to stay for three years to earn the bonus.

"So it wasn't paid for last season.

"It was paid in 2013 for what had occurred in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

"That gets lost in all the commentary, but that's okay. It's public.

"I've never hidden from what I get paid.

"But I certainly don't pay myself.

"I get paid by the commission."

Demetriou said the code was in a very strong financial position.

"When I started at the AFL, we had about 50 million dollars of debt," he said.

"We have about 60 million dollars in the bank.

"We've restored the balance sheet."

Demetriou said he was fielding job offers but wasn't interested in staying in the sports industry.

"I've had a few approaches since last Monday," he said.

"I've announced it early in the season that I'm going to be there for the season and that gives me time to assess what comes my way."


5 comments so far

  • Just because Demetriou denies it doesn't mean it's not true. He's hardly going to confirm it is he.

    Date and time
    March 11, 2014, 4:18PM
    • Andrew Demetriou should feel well pleased with his tenure as CEO of the AFL. There is no doubt that his final year has been expedited by the Liberal Government.
      The Liberal amount of politics has been is and will continue to be a major problem in the conduct of protocols within ASADA and their supply of information on AFL Football Essendon's drug program.
      His will be very interesting memoirs.

      Date and time
      March 11, 2014, 5:07PM
      • The attacks on Demetriou are all part of Essendon's spin campaign. They think that by implicating as many others as possible in something with negative connotations, that it makes them look better. Yet another reason why the AFL made a mistake in not penalizing them more harshly.

        Date and time
        March 11, 2014, 5:52PM
        • Bullshit Andy, Wayne Jackson gave you a sound launching platform. You are handing over an organization on the slide. Five years down the track your legacy will be exposed. Then return the bonuses

          Date and time
          March 11, 2014, 7:58PM
          • Mastered the art of misinformation and self congratulation so will make a perfect politician

            Date and time
            March 11, 2014, 11:04PM

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