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Irishman to save AFL's oldest club?

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Who would have thought, back in 1984, that when arguably the oldest football club in Australia, the Melbourne Football Club, approached a young Irish Gaelic footballer to come play their foreign game Down Under, that the young man might go on to be the club's salvation?

That's now quite a possibility, with Jim Stynes tipped to become the next Chairman of the Melbourne FC. After a distinguished career on the field Stynes stayed in touch with football but also involved himself in anti-racial vilification and youth charity work in Australia, leading to him being named Victorian of the Year in 2003.

Melbourne have struggled both on the field and financially for many years now and have survived on AFL hand-outs. The current administration has had some success, but not enough to guarantee long term survival. Stynes, now very much well-connected and well-respected in Victoria's business community, has been mentioned more and more this year as the man to put together an off-field team to lead the Demons to stability. It looks like he will now make his move.

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Irishman to save AFL's oldest club? | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Irishman to save AFL's oldest club?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, June 09 2008 @ 06:18 pm ACST

Stynes outlines his plans: http://www.afl.com.au/News/NewsArticle/tabid/208/Default.aspx?newsId=61092

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Irishman to save AFL's oldest club?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, June 13 2008 @ 01:09 pm ACST

It's official, yesterday Stynes was officially endorsed, along with his new board, as chairman of the Demons.


He had to hold back tears at the press conference and made it clear that under his watch the club would not relocate or fold. It also sounds like he will target the younger immigrant communities of Melbourne as future supporters, much as North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have. A bit sad these clubs had to become "desperate" before that happened, but good that it has anyway.

No word yet as to how they will view the China policy. But the focus appears to be on growth, not cost-cutting, so hopefully it will be embraced.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN