Outgoing AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan is set to remain in his position at AFL House until after Round 5 of next season as the league continues to sort through potential successors for its top job.
McLachlan announced in April this year that he would step down from his role as CEO of the AFL after eight seasons at the helm.
An expansive search for a formidable replacement shortly took place, however no standout option has seemingly appeared.
Now, club presidents and AFL staff have been informed that McLachlan will continue to lead the league until April next year at the very least.
Round 5 will see the 'Magic Round' take place, with South Australia to host all nine round matches in a league first.
McLachlan, who is said to have contemplated leaving AFL House before the COVID-19 pandemic, is also needing to look over CBA negotiations, AFL expansion and the harrowing Hawthorn scandal that has come to light in recent months.
"With several key priorities still in play, including finalising a position on a 19th license for Tasmania, the Player CBA and the AFL's response to the Hawthorn racism allegations, Gill has agreed to delay his departure until after the Toyota AFL Premiership Season Round Five celebrations in Adelaide," Commission chairman Richard Goyder said in a league statement, via AFL.com.au.
"It is important the AFL has continuity during this period as we continue to work through some incredibly significant and complex pieces of work for the industry.
"As you know, Gill initially committed to finishing at the end of the year, and I thank him for agreeing to stay in the leadership role for an additional period as we navigate through a critically important time."
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale, senior AFL figures Travis Auld and Andrew Dillon, Sydney boss Tom Harley and Bulldogs president Kylie Watson-Wheeler have all be linked as potential successors for McLachlan.