Costa joins push to stop Cook leaving Geelong
Stay or go: Geelong's Brian Cook and Frank Costa. Photo: John Donegan
FORMER Geelong president Frank Costa has intervened in an attempt to retain the club's long-serving chief executive, Brian Cook.
Costa held a private meeting with Cook at Aireys Inlet over the weekend and is understood to have reminded his long-time friend and colleague of the unfinished business remaining at Simonds Stadium.
Having joined forces with his successor, Colin Carter, in a bid to convince Cook to turn down an offer to cross to North Melbourne, Costa, along with Carter, also told Cook that he would depart the club with their blessing should he choose to leave.
On Monday, the view from Geelong was that Cook remained torn between staying or leaving and would make a decision on Tuesday.
While board members played down the issue, it is known that Carter's more hands-on presidential style has frustrated Cook at times.
The former AFL Commissioner and corporate governance expert is understood to have addressed the issue of their relationship with the respected chief executive when the two met yesterday.
Costa sought permission from Carter before organising a meeting with Cook shortly after the latter's arrival home on Friday night from a trek in the Himalayas.
Carter and Cook had a meeting on Monday. While it could not be confirmed, a generous package would reward Cook should he decide to stay.
Cook would also have the challenge of overseeing the yet-to-be-funded stage four of the rebuilding of Simonds Stadium.
The Kangaroos' push to hire Cook has been led by president James Brayshaw and heavily influenced by North Melbourne benefactor and powerbroker Peter Scanlon, who is understood to have put forward the promise of future board directorships along with a generous package.
Although the Cats believe the AFL has played a major role in the bid to headhunt Cook - who has one year remaining on his contract with Geelong - the league has denied this.
The AFL did attempt to lure Cook from Geelong in 2009 when it was establishing its 17th team on the Gold Coast.
Should North succeed in hiring Cook, the move would prove a major coup for the club, which has operated with an interim CEO - Cameron Vale - since the middle of the 2012 season.