MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 29: Simon Lethlean broadcasting and scheduling of the AFL speaks to the media during the 2016 AFL Season Fixture Launch at AFL House on October 29, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Saints appoint axed AFL football operations boss as GM

St Kilda have appointed former AFL football operations boss Simon Lethlean as the club’s new General Manager of Football.

The announcement comes just six months after Lethlean was forced out of the AFL in July over an inappropriate workplace relationship with a young female employee.

Lethlean wasn’t considered for recent CEO vacancies at Carlton, Collingwood and Hawthorn, although the Saints decided the opportunity to bring in someone of Lethlean’s ilk was too good to pass up.

“Simon brings significant skills and experience to the Club,” St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis told saints.com.au.

“His knowledge of football, from grass roots to the elite, as well as his executive experience in legal, fixturing, broadcasting, game development, AFL Women’s and football operations will be invaluable to St Kilda.

“His experience as a successful Club and representative coach and player prior to his administrative career rounds out an enviable football resume.

“Throughout the process, Simon demonstrated himself to be the stand-out candidate for our Club and I am very pleased to welcome him to the Saints.”

The position at the Saints became vacant recently, after the Western Bulldogs poached chief operating officer and legal counsel Ameet Bains from St Kilda.

Lethlean told the club’s website he was excited to join the club in Seaford, and will begin his new role in January.

“St Kilda is a Club with a clear vision, a united administration, a very strong coach and a young talented list,” Lethlean said.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining the Club in this new role, and feel humbled to be given a second chance in the industry that I love.

“I am passionate about football and am thankful to Matt Finnis, Alan Richardson, Peter Summers and the entire board and Club for giving me this opportunity.

“I spoke to the playing group and the entire staff this morning, and outlined my passion for football and the opportunities I see in the role.

“I believe I can be part of a team that delivers real and sustained success to St Kilda Football Club.”

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