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Welfare of players a hallmark of Demetriou legacy

The Players’ Association today congratulates Andrew Demetriou on his time in the game, and wishes him well for the next stage of his working life.

Andrew has spent 26 years in the industry; as a player, as an advocate for the players as CEO of the Players’ Association, as AFL Football Operations Manager and CEO of the AFL.

Matt Finnis, AFL Players’ Association CEO, today said Andrew’s willingness to stand up for players’ rights was a real strength of his time in the industry.

“During his time as CEO of the Players’ Association, Andrew was instrumental in the first collective agreement for the competition’s 600-plus professional players, which justly recognised their position in the game. Then, as CEO of the AFL, Andrew continued his involvement in CBA negotiations with the Players’ Association, this time from the other side of the fence”, Finnis said.

“While he has been a tough CEO to negotiate with, he has always cared a great deal about the welfare of players. He worked very hard to help the Association protect the rights of players through issues like the Illicit Drugs Policy. When the AFL could have given in to ‘naming and shaming’, Andrew advocated strongly for the medical model of managing the illicit drug issue, ” Finnis said.

“In conjunction with Andrew, we have also seen the introduction of many positive changes for players, including the launch of Free Agency, which is a great outcome for our game.”

Mr Finnis said Andrew had also managed to bring together clubs and other stakeholders to deliver major benefits for the whole competition.

“On the big issues like expansion, new stadiums, and now on the critical issue of equalisation, Andrew has been able to bring people together to find the best solutions for the competition.”

“The AFL and the AFL Players’ Association have had a successful partnership on a number of key initiatives and we have a lot of respect for his professionalism and integrity.”

The Players’ Association wishes Andrew well for his future.