Collingwood have recently announced their new CEO as former player Craig Kelly, who starts the job on February 20.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Kelly as our Chief Executive Officer.
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) January 30, 2023
Following the departure of Mark Anderson in November, Kelly’s appointment doesn’t come as a shock to most given his long-standing relationship with the club.
A member of the 1990 Pies premiership side, the defender donned the black-and-white from 1989 to 1996, featuring in 122 games and kicking 43 goals.
Kelly also has his youngest son – Will – on the club’s list, who’s played three games and battled with injury since being drafted in 2018 as a father-son selection.
The 56-year-old is also father to Essendon defender Jake Kelly, who previously was at Adelaide.
The former Pie was thrilled with his new role at the football club and touched on his excitement to lead the Pies into the future.
“The Collingwood Football Club means a lot to many people, including my family, and I feel privileged to be able to lead our Club as it continues to progress,” Kelly said.
“I am incredibly honoured to be provided with the opportunity to return to the Pies and give back to the Collingwood community.
“The Club has continued to grow and expand over the years and I am excited to steer that growth while supporting and developing the talent of our people, both on and off the field.
“There is momentum at Collingwood, and I look forward to building relationships across the Club and working alongside the Board, staff, coaches and athletes as we enter the next phase.
“It has been an incredible 26 years growing ESP/TLA alongside our dedicated staff – both past and present. I would like to thank everyone at TLA, in particular the outstanding executive team and our amazing talent – a lot who are lifelong friends of myself and my family. Without the talent, and the incredible sports and long-term clients we work with, the journey would not have been as fun or fulfilling as it has been.”
President Jeff Browne spoke glowing on the newly assigned CEO, highlighting the next step of the club.
“Craig Kelly is an extremely well-rounded professional and a highly-respected person within the football community who has the ideal skillset to be the CEO of our great Club,” Browne said.
“Craig understands better than most the requirements of a strong and successful football club. His three-decades of vast experience in managing AFL and key sporting talent, driving a high-performance environment and delivering successful results was a key factor in his appointment.
“We look forward to welcoming Craig back at the Pies as CEO during what is a truly exciting time for the Collingwood Football Club and all of our Members and supporters.”
Kelly – who started leading sports agency TLA (formerly known as ESP) – will leave his post as the CEO and a highly respected talent manager to join the club.