The Roar
The Roar


Hawks AFL members 'disenchanted' by board

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
10th November, 2021

Former Hawthorn coach Peter Schwab feels there is enough “disenchantment” from Hawks supporters to force serious change on the AFL club’s board.

Formidable Hawks president Jeff Kennett is facing a challenge to his position, and last week told the club’s members he aims to find a suitable successor by June next year.

Ex-Australian Super boss Ian Silk is leading a push for upheaval on the board after Kennett’s messy handling of the coaching succession plan involving Alastair Clarkson and Sam Mitchell.

Schwab, who is a three-times Hawthorn premiership player and coached the club between 2000 and 2004, ran an online meeting on Tuesday night for the Hawks for Change group.

“With boards, it just seems to be at times that people get appointed – I’m not saying those people aren’t very good candidates – but there doesn’t seem to be that open transparency,” Schwab told SEN.

“I think this nomination committee working towards finding Jeff’s successor may stay in place.

“This is no slur on anyone on that board, but you have to be careful you don’t drift away from your members.

“Ultimately, they’re the people you exist for so I think too many of them feel a little bit disenchanted about some of the things that have happened.”

After leaving Hawthorn at the end of 2011, Kennett’s second stint as president started in 2017 and was only meant to last for three years.


But he decided to stay on for another three-year term to guide the club through the COVID-19 crisis.

The former Victoria premier’s current term is due to expire at the end of 2023.

Schwab said he was disappointed to see Clarkson depart the club – after winning four premierships in 17 seasons – in the way he did.

“Everyone’s behind Sam (Mitchell),” Schwab said.

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“But it wasn’t a good ending for someone who’s been arguably one of the greatest coaches we’ve ever had.

“I don’t think anyone was pleased in the way it was done.

“Let’s be quite blunt to say you don’t want a massive salary being paid to someone who’s no longer at the footy club.”