Andrew Newbold has resigned as president of three-time reigning AFL premiers Hawthorn.
Newbold, who had held the position since 2011, said he had always intended to leave the role “two days earlier rather than a day late and now is the time”.
“On the back of multiple premierships and with the club in good shape, now feels like the right time to hand over the reins,” he said in a club statement.
His surprise decision elevates club vice-president Richard Garvey to the role of acting president until the club’s annual general meeting in December.
Newbold leaves the club in tip-top shape.
Hawthorn have posted league-best profits of $11 million during his four years in charge, growing annual revenue to more than $70 million.
The club has broken its membership tally each year under Newbold, sitting behind only Collingwood last year when 72,924 signed up.
After helping broker Hawthorn’s move to Waverley as a board member, Newbold leaves with plans to move their training base to south-eastern Melbourne firmly in train.
He said he wanted his successor to carry forward this project to completion.
“The club is also on the verge of a possible shift to a new home in Dingley,” Newbold said.
“This is a five to 10-year project and possibly the biggest decision the club will make in its history.
“I feel my decision to step aside will allow my successor to own and live this next chapter.”
AFL commission chairman Mike Fitzpatrick said Newbold was entitled to look back with pride on his achievements.
“Andrew’s business acumen and commitment has helped Hawthorn become one of the AFL’s most-outstanding clubs,” he said.
“Not only has Hawthorn experienced a period of remarkable on-field success during his tenure but the club has also thrived off it, with significant profits posted over the past four years.”