Gardner to announce future on Monday - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gardner to announce future on Monday

By Sam Lienert 08/06/2008 02:22:04 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne chairman Paul Gardner will make an announcement on his future on Monday, amid growing speculation he is set to stand down from the position.

Gardner refused to comment on former Demons Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes publicly confirming he wanted to take over as chairman of the AFL club.

But Gardner, who has been in the role since 2004, said he would use his speech at the official club function ahead of the Queen's Birthday clash with Collingwood at the MCG to announce his response.

Stynes said he was determined to act to ensure the club remained in Melbourne for future generations to follow, including his own children.

He said this was the most important time in the club's 150-year history.

"If we don't act now, there may never be another chance," Stynes told News Ltd.

"In our 150th year, we need to make a stand."

Irish-born Stynes, 42, played 264 games for the Demons, including winning the Brownlow in 1991.

He has lined up a team of business people to form a new board to steer the club out of trouble on and off the field.

He said the most important element the club needed to ensure their future was for fans to demonstrate support.

"Just because we are called Melbourne doesn't protect us from being relocated," Stynes said.

"Buying a membership and sharing the experience of football with family and friends will save Melbourne from relocation."

His public confirmation of his intent to take over the chairmanship comes after weeks of speculation and several meetings between himself and Gardner.

It is believed the pair wanted to wait until Saturday night's gala 150th anniversary celebrations before going public with their intentions, so as not to divert attention from the milestone.

But the celebration came in the middle of what has been a miserable season for the club.

They are on the bottom of the ladder, with just one win, and are struggling just as badly financially.

They are heading towards a forecast $1 million loss this year, which will add further to a debt of $4 million.

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