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Anderson to leave before Christmas

Adrian Anderson will leave the AFL next week - ${keywords}
Adrian Anderson will leave the AFL next week

THE AFL is preparing to appoint an acting general manager of football operations after confirming Adrian Anderson will finish next Friday.

Anderson, 40, announced his departure last week after nine years running the day-to-day operations of the competition.

"Adrian Anderson has confirmed that he will be finishing in his role as AFL general manager football operations on Friday 21 December," League spokesman James Tonkin said on Friday.

"An acting general manager will be appointed at that time."

Anderson had indicated he would help through the handover to a new football operations boss, and the AFL insists he still will do so.

Game development boss Andrew Dillon has been mooted as a possible contender for the interim role.

Tonkin said: "Adrian will continue to assist the AFL during the transition period leading to a permanent appointment before the start of the 2013 season.

Anderson, a former lawyer, is yet to say what he will do next.

He is the third member of the AFL executive to leave during this off-season following the exits of HR boss Christina Ogg and general manager of strategy and marketing Andrew Catterall.

Anderson's pre-Christmas departure confirms he won't see the controversial Melbourne tanking investigation through to its conclusion.

He will leave it behind as one of a number of issues facing the League's football operations department in 2013 along with an upcoming summit on illicit drug use among players, contention over third-party deals and ongoing debate over the interchange setup.

Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL