Media Release

SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson announces resignation

August 3, 2020

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Jake Parkinson has today announced he will be stepping down from his role at the end of the organisation’s financial year, October 31, 2020.

Mr Parkinson advised the South Australian Football Commission of his resignation from SANFL, which comes after six years in the role, to explore new career options.

“I am extremely proud of the achievements of my team and the organisation over the past six years,” Mr Parkinson said.

“However, I believe the time is now right for a future CEO to lead SANFL as it establishes the next phase of its strategic direction.

“Likewise, it is the right time for me personally to explore what the next chapter in my career might be.”

SA Football Commission Chairman The Hon. Rob Kerin said that since joining SANFL in 2014 as CEO, Mr Parkinson had executed the Commission’s strategic intent to be a football-focused organisation and achieved SANFL’s vision to enable healthier, more connected lives through the enjoyment of football.

Among his key achievements in the role were:

  • Establishing a culture in which the SANFL team were able to develop and achieve in an authentic, collaborative and fun environment.
  • Ensuring the growth and sustainability of the SANFL State League men’s competition – including grand final crowds in excess of 35,000 and ongoing free to air broadcasting of the competition with Channel 7 – consolidating its position as the best State League of any sport in Australia.
  • Strong overall financial performance and management of the sale of West Lakes land which enabled the League to reduce its debt from $37m to $2.8m prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Welcoming and growing diversity in football, in particular the phenomenal growth of female football in South Australia and establishment of a women’s football talent pathway.
  • Enabling SANFL to successfully grow participation through opportunities for all South Australians.
  • Aligning SANFL to community football leagues across the State, including the establishment and success of SANFL Juniors – now the biggest junior football competition in the nation.
  • Partnering with Adelaide Football League for the lease of Thebarton Oval to become the future home of SA football talent programs and community football in Adelaide.
  • Introducing a facilities plan and instigating the establishment of the Grassroots Football, Cricket and Netball program which has resulted in some $50m of investment into football facilities in SA.

“Jake has shown tremendous leadership over the past six years, most recently dedicating himself to ensuring the future viability of SANFL, its Clubs and Community Football in ensuring a return to competition in South Australia which is beyond that of any other state,” Mr Kerin said.

“On behalf of the Commission I would like to thank Jake for his passion and hard work for the League which, under his leadership, has ensured the organisation is in a strong position for the future.”