|Sport||Australian rules football|
|Headquarters||AFL House, 140 Harbour Esplanade, Melbourne Docklands|
|Replaced||Australian National Football Council|
The AFL Commission is the official governing body of Australian rules football and the Australian Football League (AFL), the sport's elite national competition. Mike Fitzpatrick has been chairman since 2007, but will be replaced by Richard Goyder on 4 April 2017.
The AFL Commission is responsible for the administration of the competition of the same name, and its constitution also proclaims it as the "keeper of the code", the body universally responsible for the sport of Australian football. It was formed in 1985 as the VFL Commission, and gained its current name in 1990 (in conjunction with the renaming of the competition). The AFL Commission took over the role of the Australian National Football Council in 1993, and in 2005 also replaced the International Australian Football Council. The eight commissioners are elected by the 18 AFL clubs, with each club entitled to make nominations.
- 1 National and international game development
- 2 Organisation structure and members
- 3 Club and Competition Intervention
- 4 References
- 5 External links
National and international game development
The Commission was formed to set policy and has directed the AFL (known then as the VFL), the game's most professional league in December 1985.
In 1993 the AFL Commission assumed national governance of the sport (see Principle 2 below) following the earlier disbanding of the Australian National Football Council. At the same time, control of the AFL passed from the AFL Board of Directors (effectively the 18 AFL clubs) to the Commission , with the abolition of the Board of Directors and adoption of new Memorandum and Articles of Association for the AFL. This was a significant change of power as previously the Commission required explicit approval by the League (teams) for major items, such as further Expansion, Mergers, Relocations, Major Capital Works and similar items. The AFL also created an International Policy in 2005 in an attempt to govern the sport worldwide.
In its role as national and international governing body, the AFL Commission also controls and delegates development funding for Australian state and international bodies and leagues. As most of this funding is sourced the revenue and activities associated with the AFL competition, much of the funding is directed to the competition's developing markets. Semi-professional state competitions are generally self-sufficient and receive a much lower percentage of the AFL's funding.
Organisation structure and members
The AFL Commission has a simple structure. There are formal corporate titles for members which currently consists of a chairman whose role is to oversee meetings and a Chief executive officer who typically also oversees the operations of the Australian Football League.
Commissioners are elected by the 18 AFL clubs, who each are entitled to make nominations. Should an election be necessary, then the membership is decided by a vote of the AFL clubs. Under the current constitution, member clubs have the power to veto commission decisions with a two thirds vote.
Current membership of the Commission is:
|Gillon McLachlan||Chief Executive Officer||2014|
|Major General Simone Wilkie||Commissioner||2015|
Chief Executive Officers
- Gillon McLachlan (2014–)
- Andrew Demetriou (2003–2014)
- Wayne Jackson (1996–2003)
- Ross Oakley (1994–1996)
- Mike Fitzpatrick (2007–)
- Ron Evans (1997–2007)
- John Kennedy, Sr. (1993–1997)
- Ross Oakley (1986–1993)
- Alan Schwab (1986–1993)
- Gabrielle Trainor (2016-)
- Andrew Newbold (2016-)
- Simone Wilkie (2015–)
- Jason Ball (2015–)
- Kim Williams (2014–)
- Paul Bassat (2011–)
- Richard Goyder (2011–)
- Linda Dessau (2009–2015)
- Christopher Lynch (2009–2014)
- Sam Mostyn (2005–2016)
- Andrew Demetriou (2004–2016)
- Mike Fitzpatrick (2003–)
- Bob Hammond (2001–2011)
- Graeme John (2001–2011)
- Chris Langford (1999–2016)
- Bill Kelty (1998–2015)
- David Shaw (1997–1998)
- Craig Kimberley (1997–1998)
- Wayne Jackson (1995–2003)
- Colin Carter (1993–2007)
- Terry O’Connor (1993–2000)
- John Kennedy, Sr. (1993–1997)
- John Winneke (1993–1994)
- Michael Carlile (1991–1992)
- Albert Mantello (1988–1992)
- Ross Oakley (1986–1996)
- Graeme Samuel (1985–2002)
- Peter Scanlon (1985–1992)
- Peter Nixon (1985–1990)
- Richard Seddon (1985–1987)
- Colin Carter (2009)
- Graeme Samuel (1995)
Club and Competition Intervention
The AFL Commission has also become involved in Australian Football League matters on occasion that the league causes on-field or off-field, sometimes in controversial circumstances.
On the field
- 2006 Aurora Stadium Siren Controversy – investigated the disputed finish to the St. Kilda vs. Fremantle match played at Aurora Stadium on 30 April 2006. The result was that the AFL commission overturned the drawn result to award Fremantle four premiership points instead of two.
Off the field
The commission has become involved when players or a club bring the game into disrepute, including:
- 2007 investigation into the West Coast Eagles off-field culture – including Ben Cousins rehabilitation from drug addiction, Daniel Kerr's criminal charges and the hospitalisation of Chad Fletcher on the Las Vegas after choking on his own vomit.
- 2013 investigation into reports of the use of illegal supplements by the Essendon Football Club
The AFL Commission has an ongoing role in undertaking assessments of expansion clubs and awarding new licences including:
- Gold Coast Football Club
- Greater Western Sydney Giants
- Tasmanian AFL Bid and the 2009 Senate of Australia enquiry
The Commission owns a stake in the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney clubs.
Member Club Viability
The AFL Commission manages a special fund called the Competitive Balance Fund (CBF) since 2004 as a grant of up to A$5 million per club to ensure that member clubs remain financially viable. The system was later changed to the Annual Special Distribution (ASD) of A$6.3 million shared among all clubs as well as allowing for grants and special concessions, such as payments to ensure that AFL member clubs remain viable in the short term including.
In 2006, the Commission approved a $2.1 million special financial assistance package for the Carlton Football Club.
In response to clubs increasingly relying on and applying for special funding in 2008, the Commission recommended removing the fund altogether. However, after considerable club protests led by struggling clubs Western Bulldogs, Melbourne Football Club and North Melbourne, CEO Andrew Demetriou announced that the ASD would remain. In early 2009 it increased the Melbourne Football Club's assistance from $250,000 to A$1 million and later made a A$1 million grant to the Port Adelaide Football Club