PETER Gordon has announced that he will step down from his role as Western Bulldogs president following the club's annual general meeting later this month. 

The club's directors will vote on Gordon's successor at its next board meeting on December 21, where it is expected club vice-president Kylie Watson-Wheeler will be asked unanimously by the board to accept the role. 

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With Gordon's resignation, the Western Bulldogs also becomes the first club in the history of VFL/AFL clubs to have majority female representation on its board. 

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 Gordon, a lifelong Bulldogs fan, was first president of the club from 1989 to 1996, before returning for a second stint starting in 2012. 

He will leave an extraordinary legacy on the Western Bulldogs – a club he helped save from a merger with Fitzroy in 1989 through the famous Fightback campaign.

 In his second stint as president, the club has achieved a number of milestones, including:

  • The eradication of significant debt
  • The building of a solid asset base
  • The return of a Footscray team to the VFL playing at VU Whitten Oval
  • The introduction of AFLW and VFLW teams
  • The club's exit from the Edgewater project and from the gaming industry generally
  • The creation of the club's men’s and women's health programs
  • The partnership with the City of Ballarat to bring AFL football to that city
  • The strengthening of the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation
  • Premierships in the AFL, AFLW and VFL
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His parting contribution to the Bulldogs has been the crucial role he played in securing the club over $36 million in funding from the Victorian government for the Whitten Oval Precinct redevelopment. 

In a letter to the members and fans who he served for 15 years, Gordon said he was stepping down at the right time.

"I believe that the Western Bulldogs Football Club is in a strong position and it's a good time for me to move on and for the club to move on too," Gordon wrote. 

"I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me and offered me their friendship over the journey.  It's been an honour and a privilege to hold the position with many enjoyable moments for my family and me. I've had a few regrets, but then again, as Frank Sinatra once put it … too few to mention. 

"I have full confidence in our vice-president Kylie Watson-Wheeler, our board, our CEO Ameet Bains and our senior management to take the club forward.

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"I wish the club and all its members all the best for the future."

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Kylie Watson-Wheeler was born in Footscray, is a passionate Bulldogs fan, has been a member of the club's board of directors since December 2013, and has held the position of vice-president for the last four years. 

She is the senior vice president & managing director of the Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, leading one of the largest media and entertainment companies in ANZ.

The Western Bulldogs' 2020 Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, December 21, in a virtual format.