Blues lands Cook: Veteran AFL administrator goes to Carlton
Carlton have landed legendary administrator Brian Cook as the club’s new chief executive.
Sources close to the club have confirmed to The Age that Cook, the long-time CEO of Geelong, agreed to terms with the club on Friday.
The decision was to be ratified at a Carlton board meeting on Friday evening.
The Age understands Cook will join the Blues on a three-year deal. The club is also believed to be working on a handover plan that would see an internal candidate take over from Cook at the end of his tenure.
Cook, one of the most respected figures in the AFL over the last three decades, had been considering his future this week and whether he was ready to once again lead a club.
Outgoing Geelong CEO Brian Cook.Credit:John Woudstra
But sources close to the 65-year-old have told The Age the lure of bringing success to a club starved of stability for the best part of 20 years was one of the most significant factors that led to him committing to Carlton.
The Age first reported last month that Carlton’s new president Luke Sayers had reached out to business confidant and friend Cook about a role at the club. That was before Cain Liddle was removed as club boss last week.
As a young, inexperienced chief executive, Liddle signed major sponsors Puma and Virgin Australia to long-term deals and the club broke its record for membership this year of more than 80,000 fans. That’s fairly substantial given how poor the team’s on field record has been for so long.
But club sources said Liddle became too involved in the football department side of the club and the findings of the external review only destabilised his position at the club further.
Cook’s experience, his wealth of knowledge and his industry relationships are virtues that Carlton believes will help bring stability.
Carlton are still on the hunt for a new coach to replace David Teague.
Former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott this week chose the AFL over the club and has become the league’s new football boss.
His twin brother Chris has one year left on his contract at Geelong. It remains to be seen whether Cook’s defection to Carlton will have any impact on whether the Blues now make the Geelong coach their number one target.
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