Fitzpatrick’s 10 years as AFL chairman


2007 – West Coast’s substance abuse dominates the AFL agenda following their flag win. Ben Cousins is later banned for 12 months. North Melbourne’s relocation to the Gold Coast fails.

2008 – The AFL wins support from all 16 clubs to set up two new expansion teams on the Gold Coast and in Western Sydney.

2009 – Melbourne’s quest for a priority pick leads to long-running ‘taking’ investigation. The AFL hands down a $500,000 fine in 2013.

2010 – The drawn Grand Final brings calls for the AFL to introduce extra time in the decider. The Commission adopts the measure six years later.

2011 – The AFL signs a record five-year $1.25b broadcast rights deal. Senior players are embroiled in the so-call ‘ St Kilda schoolgirl scandal’. The sub rule is introduced.

2012 – Greater Western Sydney enters the AFL a year after the Gold Coast Suns. The AFL introduces free agency.

2013 – An Australian Crime Commission report sparks a long-running AFL/ASADA investigation into a club-sanctioned doping regime at Essendon. New Zealand hosts the first overseas home-and-away match.

2014 – The AFL Commission introduces equalisation measures – including a soft cap on football spending – and scraps Sydney’s cost of living allowance. Andrew Demetriou is replaced as chief executive by Gillon McLachlan.

2015 – The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal decides against banning the 34 past and present Essendon players. The AFL match review panel is overhauled and the sub is scrapped.

2016 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns that decision, handing down 12-month bans for all players involved.

2017 – AFL Women’s competition is launched to significant fanfare. Fitzpatrick resigns a day out from the start of the AFL pre-season competition.

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