Disgraced AFL senior executives apologise

By , Ben McKay is a Roar Guru

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    The AFL has responded to the resignations of Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss.

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    Disgraced senior AFL executive Simon Lethlean says his “total focus” is on rebuilding the relationship with his family after his departure from the sport’s head office.v

    Previously seen as the No. 2 to AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan, Lethlean apologised on Friday for a “inappropriate relationship” with a junior female AFL employee that led to his resignation.

    He held the position of AFL’s football operations manager since March.

    His indiscretion and departure – along with that of commercial operations general manager Richard Simkiss on similar grounds – have rocked the AFL.

    “My resignation follows a wrong decision I made to have an inappropriate relationship with a female employee of the AFL. It is an action for which I am truly sorry for the hurt I have caused,” said Lethlean in a statement issued by the AFL.

    “I have hurt the people who are most important in my life and who I love. They have done nothing to deserve this. I am deeply sorry for all the hurt and embarrassment I have caused.”

    Lethlean said he wouldn’t be able to rebuild his marriage if he continued in the job.

    “My priority now is to do everything I can to repair the damage and hurt I have caused my wife and my family and I cannot do this while working in this public role,” he said.

    “Regaining the trust and love of my wife and my family will be my total focus.”

    Simkiss also issued an apology via AFL statement.

    “I have taken responsibility for my actions at work, and ask for privacy to take the time to focus on earning back the respect of my family, to whom I owe everything,” Simkiss said.

    “My actions did not live up to the values of the AFL and is something I am truly sorry for.”

    Andrew Dillon, AFL general counsel, will act in Lethlean’s position until a full-time replacement is appointed.

    McLachlan said the new football chief was likely to come from outside head office.

    © AAP 2017

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