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Kennett not the man for Demons: McLardy

Matt Thompson  June 6, 2013 2:56 PM

AFL 2010 Training - Hawthorn 040510

Jeff Kennett has described the Melbourne presidency as "the best management challenge in sport"

MELBOURNE president Don McLardy has returned fire at Jeff Kennett after the former Hawthorn leader said he would consider taking charge of the embattled club.

Kennett revealed on Thursday he'd been approached to run for the Melbourne presidency.

The former Victorian premier declared the Demons board had failed and it's time to "get rid of the lot .. start again". He did not rule out fronting a rival ticket.

"Over the last few years Jeff has been very vocal in his thoughts on our club," McLardy said in response. 

"His suggestions for our club have included merging with North Melbourne and moving to the Gold Coast

"We don’t believe Jeff’s views on our club align with our members."
The outspoken critic of AFL headquarters said he had received an approach in recent weeks.
"There [are] Melbourne members out there who have approached me in the last few weeks who have asked me would I be a part of a group to stand against the incumbent board," Kennett told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
"Sadly at some stage the buck has got to stop with those in charge; no point blaming the coach all the time or the CEO," he told reporters outside the radio station. 
Kennett said the fact he didn't barrack for the club wouldn't be an issue.
"I don't think there's any worry about that at all. To me it's the management challenge, it's creating the governance, it's creating the passion, it's the reason to get Melbourne members to stay to come back and to grow something," he said.
The former Victorian premier said Melbourne's current position was having a negative impact on the city's brand.

"Melbourne carries the name of the capital city of Victoria. We love Victoria, we love Melbourne. I don't like our brand being out there as it is at the moment where every club that plays it writes in the four points before the match.
"I think the Melbourne members have got to now start exercising their right to actually bring about a change," Kennett said.
Former Melbourne chairman Paul Gardner questioned whether Kennett was a Demons member.
"Whilst I applaud the intention of Jeff Kennett to add some strength and stability to our club, I suggest he goes to the game on Monday and buys a membership to enable him to do so," Gardner told
Kennett also said it was time for the AFL to cut its losses on expansion club Greater Western Sydney.
"GWS I think is turning out to be a mistake. A mistake because the culture in Sydney is different, and ultimately because to maintain it is going to cost tens of tens of millions of dollars which should be going to help some of the weaker clubs."
Kennett suggested the end of the current broadcast agreement would be an appropriate time to end the experiment.
Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL