MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 11: Hawks President Jeff Kennett celebrates the win during the round 21 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Jeff Kennett has revealed that his replacement at Hawthorn will be appointed mid next year with the move possibly opening the door for Kennett to depart before the end of his term in 2023.

The current President has never been too far away from the spotlight in his time at the Hawks, with the former Premier of Victoria seen as one of the driving forces behind the departure of Alastair Clarkson.

In a letter to members, Kennett said that the process the find his replacement would be starting shortly.

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“I was asked to return to the Presidency of the club by the previous Board in 2017 to address some issues that were causing concern. It was my intention to only stay for one term of three years,” Kennett wrote.

“Then COVID-19 struck us all, and I was asked to stay to guide the club and the competition through COVID when I was a member of the AFL’s “War Cabinet”.

"I was therefore re-elected unopposed last year for a three-year term which concludes at the end of 2023.”

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With the new President expected to be appointed 18 months before the role is available, Kennett may step down and allow for further change at the football club earlier than expected.

“More recently the Board has acted as the Nomination Committee in identifying and recommending to members its next President and Board members. Such recommendation of course never stopped other people interested in standing for the Presidency or a Board position from doing so,” he said.

"Your Board has again unanimously decided to adopt a different procedure, one that exists in most companies. That is to establish a Nominations Committee. It will be made up of Board and non-Board members. Its terms of reference will be decided by the Board and those on the committee.

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“Its membership will be finalised after the AGM in December, so they can commence their work in the New Year. We will require the Committee to make its final recommendation of their preferred candidate to the Board by 30 June next year.

“On the agreement of the Board of their recommendation, and the acceptance of the nominee, and his or her availability to commence work, we will then decide when I hand over the baton.”

There has been mounting pressure instigated by influential reform group Hawks for Change and by members of the club’s board but Kennett was determined to ignore the scrutiny.

SEN's Sam Edmund is reporting that sources from within Hawthorn have revealed that some at the club are hoping for a new president as early as the start of next season.

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Former player and board member Andy Gowers is set to head up the nominations group that will be formed to search for Kennett’s replacement.

"That group is likely to be made up of three board members and three club members, with Gowers standing down from the election as a result," Edmund wrote.

"That panel will aim to recommend a new presidential candidate to the board before the start of the 2022 season, but by the end of June at the latest."