Saints chief quits to head A-League - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints chief quits to head A-League

25/02/2009 05:21:39 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda CEO Archie Fraser has become the second senior AFL executive to switch to soccer, taking a new role as head of the A-League.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) have head-hunted Fraser in their wide-ranging reorganisation as they prepare their World Cup bid team.

Ben Buckley was chief operating officer at the AFL before he became the FFA chief executive.

Buckley's predecessor at the FFA, John O'Neill, came across from the Australian Rugby Union and has since returned to again head up the ARU.

Buckley said Fraser, a former professional soccer player, would have a major role within the FFA.

"Growth and expansion of the Hyundai A-League is critical to the growth of football in Australia and is an absolute priority for FFA," Buckley said.

"Archie has not only played the game to a high level, he's also a professional sports administrator and he has a first class commercial and strategic background.

"Although he has worked in AFL for the past several years, he is the first to acknowledge that his No.1 sporting passion is, and always has been, football."

Fraser played soccer in his native Scotland and then Queensland.

He was a consultant for St Kilda before becoming their commercial operations manager in 2005 and their chief executive the following year.

The Saints have set no timetable on when Fraser will leave or when they will appoint his successor.

But president Greg Westaway said Fraser would leave with the club's full blessing.

"While it's always a shame to lose good people, the Saints are in good shape and will work diligently to find a suitable replacement," Westaway said in a statement.

"We have lost an important person, (but) it's a testament to the quality of people that we employ and those remaining at the club.

"Archie steered the club through a difficult period of change at the board and operating level over the last few years.

"Archie will remain with the club to complete a thorough handover and ensure that momentum on major projects is maintained."

During Fraser's tenure as chief executive, the Saints made the controversial decision to sack Grant Thomas as coach.

After a bitter dispute with the local council, they also decided to leave their long-term home at Moorabbin and build a new headquarters near Frankston, in Melbourne's outer southern suburbs.

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