Essendon Football Club has unveiled a new and bold five-year strategic plan, with the Bombers declaring their ambition to win an AFL premiership within the next five years.

At Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), CEO Xavier Campbell outlined five key pillars for the Bombers’ 2022–2026 strategic plan - premierships, people, heartland, national footprint, and commercial strength.

>>>SEE A FULL REPLAY OF AGM AT END OF ARTICLE

“Over the past 12 months at the club, the Board and the executive have been working closely to define our strategic plan for the next five years, as well as focusing on aspects of our purpose and identity as a football club," Campbell said.

“When it comes to our purpose, there’s no denying we exist to win premierships. Our football club has been built on success, and our members absolutely want to see that happen.

“With respect to our identity, we’ve had many before us work incredibly hard to establish key attributes that this football club stands for.

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2021 AGM & Members Forum | CEO's address

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell delivers his address at the 2021 AGM & Members Forum.

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"Firstly, success. It defines us and we are eagerly chasing our 17th premiership.

"Secondly, heritage. Our club has been made up of great people, moments and teams. We want to always respect our heritage and build upon it.

"Thirdly, one family. Essendon started as a family club, we care for our people, we want to ensure that we never lose sight of the connection people have to the club.

"And finally, always striving. This refers to our ambition to be the best version of ourselves, to make people proud, to have a growth mindset and constantly strive to be the best version of ourselves and create the best version of the club.

"We have identified five strategic pillars for us to focus our attention over the next five year – premierships, people, heartland, national footprint. and commercial strength.

“We want to be a finals football club across every team in every year, and it is our ambition that every Essendon team has won at least one premiership by 2026.

“Our people are the heart of our club, and central to achieving our purpose. As our single greatest asset, we will invest strategically to drive competitive advantages and become the industry-leading destination for attracting, developing and rewarding top talent, both on and off the field. We will also set out to be a national leader in Indigenous community advancement, and we have set bold targets around our membership base, with over 125,000 members at the end of 2026.

“Furthermore, we want to own the north-west of Melbourne and provide the best football facilities and programs for men and women, boys and girls, from community pathways to the elite. In this five-year period, the redevelopment of Windy Hill will be completed which will see it become a destination precinct for women’s state and community league football. The NEC Hangar development will also be our premier hub in the region for supporting community and education pathways and health and wellbeing services.

“Ultimately, our national footprint is about the consolidation and enhancement of a truly national brand that is the Essendon Football Club. On the back of 2020 and 2021 when we took the club more than ever around the country, we want to build upon those foundations over the next five years.

“Finally, we want to be renowned as the most commercially valuable brand in Australian sport. We have great foundations here and wonderful partner support but over this next five-year period we will build on this through the Red ad Black investment fund and maximising the Windy Hill and NEC Hangar precincts.

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Campbell closed his addressed by thanking the red and black faithful for their continued support of the Essendon Football Club after a positive year of growth for the Bombers.

“There is much to look forward to in 2022 – a truly momentous year as we celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Essendon Football Club. We look forward to our members and supporters marking this significant occasion of their beloved Bombers at our many and varied celebrations throughout the course of the year.

“To our members and supporters, thank you for your unwavering support of the red and black. Wherever you may be, we can’t wait to see you at the football in 2022."

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