The Board of the Essendon Football Club has accepted the resignation of Andrew Thorburn as CEO.
As soon as the comments relating to a 2013 sermon from a pastor, at the City of the Hill church came to light this morning, we acted immediately to clarify the publicly espoused views on the organisation’s official website, which are in direct contradiction to our values as a Club.
Essendon is committed to providing an inclusive, diverse and a safe Club, where everyone is welcome and respected.
The Board made clear that, despite these not being views that Andrew Thorburn has expressed personally and that were also made prior to him taking up his role as Chairman, he couldn’t continue to serve in his dual roles at the Essendon Football Club and as Chairman of City on the Hill.
The Board respects Andrew’s decision.
We are deeply committed to our values and support wholeheartedly the work of the AFL in continuing to stamp out any discrimination based on race, sex, religion, gender, sexual identity or orientation, or physical or mental disability.
I want to stress that neither the board nor Andrew was aware of the comments from the 2013 sermon until we read about them this morning. I also want to stress that this is not about vilifying anyone for their personal religious beliefs, but about a clear conflict of interest with an organisation whose views do not align at all with our values as a safe, inclusive, diverse and welcoming club for our staff, our players, our members, our fans, our partners and the wider community.
Acting CEO Nick Ryan will continue in his role whilst we commence the process to appoint a new CEO.