Carlton poach Geelong Cats CEO Brian Cook


Carlton have poached legendary administrator Brian Cook from Geelong in a huge step toward becoming an AFL powerhouse again.

After taking West Coast from a start-up to a two-time AFL premiership juggernaut, Cook led Geelong during a highly successful 23-year period, reviving the club’s finances and overseeing three flags.

Cook is replacing Cain Liddle, who Carlton sacked last week on the back of the club’s well-documented external review.

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The Age has reported Cook agreed to a three-year deal with Carlton and the Blues would work on a handover plan, which will see an internal candidate take over at the end of Cook’s reign.

The challenge of leading back to greatness a club starved of success and stability for the best part of 20 years was a key reason behind Cook’s decision to join Carlton, The Age reported.

Carlton president Luke Sayers hailed Cook’s invaluable leadership.

“This is a significant pillar of the club’s ‘reset’ strategy, whereby our football club is striving to bring in the best available people with strong leadership, who thrive on building and driving a high-performing culture,” Sayers said.

“That is exactly what Carlton needs to take our next significant step, and nobody fits that criteria better than Brian Cook.”

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Carlton are at a critical point in their history, given they haven’t played finals footy since 2013, have a new and inexperienced chief executive and sacked coach David Teague following the 2021 season.

“Brian is an experienced leader who, to put it simply, knows what success looks like and, more importantly, knows everything that is required to achieve it – on and off the field.

“He has directly overseen necessary changes and driven elite standards to generate an improvement in football performance, ensuring these elite standards are not only met but are sustained over a long period of time.

“Brian has also been the driving force behind Kardinia Park’s redevelopment, and that invaluable experience will be crucial as we move toward completion of the Princes Park redevelopment in 2022.

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“While our club is in a strong position off the field, we intend to take this to another level, by being proactive and innovative, and Brian, as CEO, will play a pivotal role in leading that approach.

“To attract arguably Australia’s most highly regarded sports administrator to the position of chief executive officer at our club is significant, and from this point on, our plan cannot be clearer and more resolute to achieve the sustained success we are striving for.”

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