NORTH Melbourne is tracking nicely but still missed a golden opportunity when it rejected an opportunity to move to the Gold Coast, according to club legend Allen Aylett.

Aylett was twice president of the club but more to the point, the greatest reformer in the history of the wider completion.

In an interview for this week's AFL Record to mark his 80th birthday on Thursday, Aylett, described by the late AFL chairman Ron Evans as the "father of the national competition", claimed the Kangaroos would now be $50 million better off had they accepted an AFL proposal to relocate in 2007.

Aylett had served a second stint as president of the Kangaroos from 2001-05 and was a supporter of the club's proposed relocation.

"The deal we did with the AFL never came to fruition because it was a political thing at North and James (Brayshaw), Ron Joseph and other people at North won the battle, and fair enough, you have to accept that," he said.

"But we had done a fantastic deal with the AFL with relation to Metricon Stadium. We'd have been the Saturday night team on television in Melbourne.

"We would have been $50 million better off than now when still, it (North) is one of those clubs that has to watch everything it is doing although, mind you, they are doing a very good job."

"I can't criticise the way they’re running the club but I just think we missed a fantastic opportunity."

Aylett played 220 games for the Kangaroos from 1952-64, winning three best and fairests and being named in the club's Team of the Century. He became president in 1971 and within four years the club had won its first premiership, thanks largely to a series of brash and innovative moves such as bringing Ron Barassi to the club and recruiting aggressively for on-field talent.

He was elected president of the then-VFL in 1977 and his reformist agenda led to the introduction of live telecasts of the Grand Final in Victoria, the Grand Final parade, Sunday football, moving South Melbourne to Sydney, ground rationalisation and most significantly, the replacement of club-appointed League directors by an independent commission.

Aylett also recognised the growing popularity of other sports such as soccer and basketball and made game development a big focus of his presidency.

A passionate supporter of VFL Park, he revived the midweek night competition at Waverley. That format eventually evolved into a pre-season competition. He engineered a $1 million deal for World Series Cricket to play at the ground.

Not surprisingly, he still believes the AFL erred in closing the ground in 2000 and selling the land to a developer.

He retired from the League in 1985, immediately after the directors voted themselves out of office to allow the introduction of the commission, bringing to an end a whirlwind decade in which he had charted a new direction for the game and enhanced its claims to be the no.1 sport in Australia.

The 1975 North premiership gave him his biggest thrill in football, but he regards the establishment of the commission and the Swans move to Sydney as his greatest achievements.

"I had major support from people like Ron Barassi, Albert Mantello, Jack Clarke, Ron Joseph and Ted Whitten. I was the unpopular one with the masses, but people were behind me," he said.

A sprightly octogenarian, Aylett still works as a dentist three days a week and watches the Kangaroos most weeks, together with his children and grandchildren.

Read the full story in the round six edition of the AFL Record, available at all grounds.