The AFL has appointed Travis Auld to join its executive team.
Travis Auld has quit as Gold Coast chief executive to become part of the AFL’s 11-person executive team.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan announced the appointment on Thursday, stressing that Auld would not be his deputy and would instead take on a newly created position.
Auld will begin his role as general manager of clubs and AFL operations at the completion of Gold Coast’s season.
His main responsibilities will be to support funding, strategy and competitive balance across the AFL.
Auld was Gold Coast’s founding chief executive and he has been with the Suns for five years.
“I don’t have an official number two,” McLachlan said.
“There is a management team sitting under me. Travis will then pick up some specific gaps in our structure that I think’s existed for a long time.
“You shouldn’t draw any implications for the rest of the management team.
“This complements our structure, and everyone will be picking up the slack.”
Auld’s tasks include the political hot potato that is equalisation, as well as enhancing the match-day experiences for fans.
“I’ve been at the Suns for five years and my role was to set up the club, lead its establishment and leave it with really strong foundations, which we have,” Auld said.
Former Carlton and Collingwood chief executive Greg Swann’s name has been raised as a potential new Suns’ chief, according to a report on the AFL’s website.
Auld’s Gold Coast deputy Andrew Travis and football manager Marcus Ashcroft are also possible candidates.
Suns’ chairman John Witheriff said Auld had played a crucial role in establishing the club.
“He has been a great leader of our club and is well liked by his colleagues, our board, sponsors, and supporters,” Witheriff said in a statement.
Auld, a former chief operating officer at Essendon, will have various responsibilities, including:
* co-ordinate across the AFL executive issues pertaining clubs, venues and fans;
* work with all clubs to improve strategy, structures, talent development, profitability and performance but specifically expansion clubs, and clubs receiving funding from club future fund;
* lead the execution of the competitive balance strategy;
* oversee the financial and commercial management and performance of the clubs to ensure financial viability;
* work with fans, clubs and venues to drive a first-class match day experience;
* work with venues on cost and accessibility issues.