MELBOURNE'S possible next president, Geoff Freeman, has predicted the struggling club could be playing finals within the next three years.

Freeman is a leading candidate to take over the presidency after Don McLardy resigned from the position on Friday and suggested the Demons would be "very competitive" in coming seasons.

"If we're not looking at finals football and being inside the final eight within a couple of years – two to three years at maximum – I'll be staggered," Freeman told the Herald Sun.

"We will be very competitive. This playing group has the nucleus of a very, very good side.

"And we will be doing everything we can to add to it and enhance the group."

On Monday Melbourne sacked Mark Neeld as its coach after a horrendous first half of the season, with Demons chief executive Peter Jackson delivering the news.

Jackson has been a big part of the club's decision-making in the last month, and Freeman said the Demons were determined to improve.

"We are going to get this football club and this football department right. And we've got the fortitude and the guts to do it," Freeman said.

"We are not going to shirk any hard decisions that need to be made.

"We have been working feverishly over the past month to get things right. We can't afford to make any more mistakes with big decisions. And we are not hesitating to make the right decisions."

Jackson said on Monday the Demons were "a huge impediment to the industry," a claim not supported by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou.

The Demons have won only one game this season, against last-placed Greater Western Sydney in round four, and their average losing margin in 10 defeats is 77 points.

Demetriou disagreed they were an impediment, but admitted their lack of on-field competitiveness had "hurt" the League.

''I don't believe they are an impediment to the competition – they are a valuable part of the competition,'' he told The Age.

''But it is true that performances like these impact upon crowds and hurt the broadcasters when ratings are poor.

''It hurts Hawthorn when Melbourne play them in a Hawthorn home game and the attendance is estimated at 15,000 or 20,000 people … that's a $200,000 impact to Hawthorn.''