Irishman to save AFL's oldest club?
Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 05:11 pm ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
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.