Ross Oakley (administrator)
Played 62 games (including three finals), and kicked 38 goals for St Kilda between 1962 and 1966
Appointed chairman of the then VFL Commission and CEO in 1986
Oversaw the entry of the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears (1987), the Adelaide Crows (1991), the Fremantle Dockers (1995), Port Adelaide Power (1996)
Oversaw the 1996 merger between the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy
Implemented ground rationalisation which influenced the building of the Great Southern Stand
Instigated the first final to be played outside Victoria in 1991 – West Coast v Hawthorn at Subiaco
During the centenary season of 1996, the AFL established the Australian Football Hall of Fame as a major initiative of that year
Had a major focus on building the competition's business; VFL and club revenue was $51 million in 1986 and reached $200 million in 1996
Took the television broadcast rights from just over $1 million in 1986 to $19.5 million at the end of 1996
The marketing of the game was improved, with membership rising from 71,000 in 1987 to 286,000 in 1996, and attendances from 2.9 million to 5.2 million as matches were scheduled in four different time slots and on public holidays
During his term, all of the powers to run the competition were transferred from the clubs to the independent AFL Commission as a result of the Crawford Report in 1993

When former St Kilda player Ross Oakley took over from VFL boss Jack Hamilton in 1986, the league was in an entirely different shape to what it was a decade later.

Hawthorn had just won its sixth premiership, there were 12 teams in the competition -- with the Sydney Swans the only non-Victorian franchise -- and there was no existing television rights deal.

As the new CEO, Oakley faced a large task if he was to lay the foundations of the powerhouse league we have today -- and he would have to do it in a volatile period of change.

He oversaw the expansion of the competition with West Coast and Brisbane (1987), Adelaide (1991), Fremantle (1995) and Port Adelaide (1997) all entering the league, and the 1996 merger between the Bears and Fitzroy.

A major focus of Oakley's was to build the business of the competition, which saw the revenue rise from $51 million to $200 million over 10 years and the league distribution to the clubs increase by $13.28 million.

The previously non-existent television rights were taken from just over $1 million in 1986 to a whopping $19.5 million at the end of 1996, the club membership figure multiplied by four and the number of people attending almost doubled.

The marketing campaign, spearheaded by the "I'd like to see that" slogan, was a tremendous success, which reflected his emphasis on marketing the code.

Oakley enters the Hall of Fame as the man who was instrumental in making Australian football the country's favoured sporting code.

Watch the video: 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Ross Oakley