Don McLardy stands down from Demons' presidency

DON McLardy yesterday stood down from the presidency of the embattled Melbourne Football Club.

McLardy, who had replaced Jim Stynes 18 months ago, informed the AFL Commission of his decision yesterday morning before issuing a statement

He said his business interests did not allow him to devote the time needed to help the Demons, who struggling on and off the field.

"Members deserve to see a clear path forward for our club with new leadership, direction and energy as soon as possible," McLardy said.

"I leave disappointed about the lack of on field success, but extremely confident in the strength of the core of passionate Melbourne supporters who have stepped up to help over the last 5 years."

Vice-president Peter Spargo will serve as interim president.

Earlier in the day, chief executive Peter Jackson refused to rule out a change of coach after spending more than an hour discussing the club's on and off-field plight with the AFL Commission.

Speaking to reporters outside AFL headquarters, Jackson said nothing had changed since the board issued a statement two weeks ago saying head coach Mark Neeld would stay in the role.

"I'm not saying anything about that because the statement that we put out at the last board meeting remains the same," Jackson said.

"What we were talking about to the commission today is a whole of club restructure. It's not about one individual. It's about rebuilding the club."

Jackson also said he received a good hearing, but it would be several weeks before the club, on track to record a loss of at least $2million this year, knew if it would get special financial assistance.

"That's a confidential matter," he said. "It's a package of things we've asked for.

"It does involve developing our list, but it also involves restructuring the club."



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