HAWTHORN president Jeff Kennett has backflipped on a plan to stand down at the end of the 2020 season, announcing on Wednesday that he intends to put himself forward for re-election once again this December.
Kennett, a long-time Hawks president and former Victorian premier, has held the role for the past three years. He had previously enjoyed a six-year stint as the club's president between 2005 and 2011.
Having announced in February his intentions to stand down, saying he only returned because of the "mess-up over the former CEO (Tracey Gaudry) and to re-right the ship", Kennett will now run for re-election later this year due to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move means that should Kennett return as president, he will be the man in charge when four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson next comes out of contract at the end of the 2022 season.
The pair have a long and complicated history, with Kennett repeatedly putting Clarkson's future on the agenda throughout his tenure as club president.
"After a lot of thought, soul searching and discussion I have decided to offer myself for re-election as your President at the AGM in December," Kennett wrote in a letter to Hawthorn members.
"This was not an easy decision for a lot of reasons. Had this year progressed as per normal, I would have stood down and handed the baton to any one of many people qualified to lead the club.
"I was invited back to the Presidency three years ago to rebalance the ship after an issue with an earlier appointment. I am happy to say that with the assistance of the Board and leadership within the administration, we have done that.
"However, COVID-19 has changed the landscape for us all, including the football industry. The environment has changed in ways none of us could have imagined."