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Xavier Campbell extension questioned by Essendon Bombers legend Matthew Lloyd and Ross Lyon


Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has questioned the club’s decision to grant CEO Xavier Campbell a two-year extension despite the team’s continued on-field struggles.

Campbell, who was appointed as the Bombers’ CEO in 2014 during the height of the club’s infamous supplements saga, was set to come out of contract at the end of the season but has reportedly been retained by Essendon’s board.

While Campbell has been influential in overseeing Essendon’s financial recovery from the supplements saga, he has also overseen a mediocre on-field product during his tenure, with not one finals victory recorded in his time at the helm.

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It was this on-field record that left Lloyd, a former Essendon captain, scratching his head.

“I think the question you have to ask is: can you be very good at one thing, that is the off-field and building your club with sponsors and all that, but not be as good in other aspects of football,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.

Lloyd’s sentiment was echoed by former AFL coach Ross Lyon, who called the decision to grant Campbell an extension a “curious” call from the Essendon board.

“It happened at Carlton. (Ex Blues CEO) Cain (Liddle) was very good at sponsorship, but at the end of the day the football piece was sadly lacking,” Lyon told Footy Classified.

“That’s his No.1 KPI isn’t it? Establishing a football culture and program as a CEO. I’m curious about the timing.

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“How could you possibly appoint someone who’s got that KPI in the middle of what they’re going through? He’s been there since 2014. It’s a very curious extension.

“You don’t want to lose your most talented players. (Joe) Daniher, the son of a legend, (Adam) Saad, who’s settled into Carlton beautifully, and (Orazio) Fantasia. Some questions have got to be asked.”

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