AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan speaks during a press conference on the resignations of high-ranking executives Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan speaks during a press conference on the resignations of high-ranking executives Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss. JOE CASTRO

Brother defends AFL boss taking leave

HAMISH McLachlan has leapt to the defence of brother and AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, who has been criticised for taking leave during a time of crisis at AFL headquarters.

McLachlan, who has served as CEO since 2014, has been the subject of much media commentary in the past week following the departures of two senior AFL executives over affairs with younger league employees.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, the younger McLachlan questioned whether there was ever a good time to take a break during the football season.

"There's no week during the footy season that is a good time to go away, apparently," he said.

"This week - it depends how you look at it, whatever I say is going to be 'you're supporting AFL House'.

"I know that my brother, who is the CEO and getting widely criticised over the last few months, has got to a point where it has been complicated and become very tough to go on.

"You just get to a point, from October through there is no breaks, you are sort of just churning on."

And the Channel Seven commentator believes an individual's pay packet should have no influence on when holidays are allowed.

 

Channel Seven broadcaster Hamish McLachlan at the 2017 Logie Awards.
Channel Seven broadcaster Hamish McLachlan at the 2017 Logie Awards. Joe Castro

"But irrelevant to what number you are getting paid, if you're getting paid 25 grand or $10 million, that doesn't change the way you are physically, mentally, whatever it is," he said.

"Whether it was a good time to take a break this week, who knows.

"All I know is, he wasn't going, wasn't going, wasn't going, wasn't going and all I know is after about six phone calls from fairly wise counsel they said 'just disappear'."

Despite defending his brother's decision, McLachlan agreed with fellow hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson that AFL House was looking slim.

"Ray Gunston, who is a serious executive, is acting CEO for five days," he added.

"They've lost Pete Campbell, who has gone back to Foxtel, who was heading up AFL Media, they're looking to replace him; Ali Fahour left last week, resigned, he was in charge of diversity; and then this week head of commercial ops and head of footy ops.

"So absolutely they are thin.

"The only thing that I would say, and this is just a comment but I don't know whether there is a week where you are not feeling under pressure."

News Corp Australia

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