Outgoing Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett hit back at the club’s great Chris Langford, warning the champion player and leader that he had been given inaccurate information for political purposes, while also defending the behavior of his board.
Langford had been highly critical of the lack of leadership at Hawthorn of late, particularly the club’s handling of and response to the cultural safety review, as well as governance issues.
In an email to Langford on Monday, Kennett said the former AFL commissioner, hall of famer, captain, top-flight player and Team of the Century member had been misled.
“Unfortunately, you are clearly getting your advice from only one party,” Kennett wrote.
“We are, as you know, a very good club. We have excellent governance. We are in the best position we have ever been. We are financially strong, have started our AFLW life, and Dingley is being built.
“Yes, some want to challenge, as is their right, but no one has offered a different program than ours. All they have done is attack the board members and [presidential candidate] Pedro [Nankivell] particularly who has delivered the bold initiatives that we are delivering.
“Peter is not political in any way. He is not my candidate; he’s on the board, and part of the nominating committee that Andy was a member of, but of course [Gowers] he did not support Peter as he was clearly thinking of defending himself. He also did not oppose Peter. In Andy’s normal way, he simply remained silent.
“Peter is the most experienced and qualified person to lead the board for years to come.”
kennett said Age the club handled the cultural safety review, completed by Phil Egan, appropriately and refrained from public comment at the urging of AFL legal counsel Andrew Dillon.