Sydney Swans general manager of football and soon-to-be chief executive Tom Harley addresses the media.
Sydney Swans general manager of football and soon-to-be chief executive Tom Harley addresses the media. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Tom Harley to step in as Swans chief executive

THE Sydney Swans have announced a succession plan that will see current football operations boss Tom Harley become the club's chief executive officer by the end of 2018.

After successfully implementing a coaching succession plan with Paul Roos and John Longmire earlier this decade, the Swans will use the same approach with Harley and outgoing CEO Andrew Ireland, who'll retire after 17 years with the club.

Ireland, Sydney's CEO since 2009, last year informed the Swans' board of his longer-term intentions. The directors then decided that Harley was the best option to replace Ireland at the end of next season.

Harley, a dual Geelong premiership captain and a Swans employee since 2014, said Sydney was "very much my home now".

"When you're involved in the AFL in Sydney you see it through a totally different lens and the Swans have reaffirmed my passion for the game, so it's a real privilege and an honour to take this opportunity," Harley said.

"I'm very honoured and humbled to be endorsed by Andrew and the board. Under Andrew Ireland I've had a great learning experience and I think our team, from the football department to the broader staff, understand what I stand for.

Ireland will retire at the end of 2018 but will remain on the club's board while he will also consult with the club around business operations and list management.

News Corp Australia

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