The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have revealed that Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend will take up a new role based in the Middle East.
During a two-and-a-half year spell, Townsend has not always pleased the passionate fanbase, but he departs the APL with significant changes and additions that the game will now benefit from.
Townsend’s tenure includes the foundations of the APL where he began in December 2021, at the time where they separated from Football Australia.
Townsend was also the catalyst behind the five-year broadcast deal with Paramount ANZ we see today, backed by orchestrating new naming rights partners in rebranded A-Leagues competitions for men and women.
The creation of a record-length CBA embedded gender equity and extended further to welcoming three new teams to the Liberty A-League.
Going forward, A-Leagues Commissioner Nick Garcia and KEEPUP Managing Director James Rushton will lead the APL – reporting to the Board and newly appointed Independent Chair the Hon Stephen Conroy.
Garcia and Rushton will combine to oversee the A-Leagues strategic and tactical business operations in its administration, and the development of digital strategy to sustain and increase fan engagement.
Chair of the Board, the Hon Stephen Conroy, stated via media release:
“The APL has undergone extraordinary growth in just a two-and-a-half-year period under Danny’s leadership, and we thank him for his service to football in Australia and New Zealand, both as CEO of the APL and before that as CEO of Sydney FC. Danny leaves the game stronger than ever, and with a talented and committed executive team in place. We wish him every success in his new role.”
“As the organisation moves into its next phase of development, we welcome the joint leadership of two highly experienced global sports executives and passionate football fans, in Nick Garcia and James Rushton. Each of their appointments was the product of extensive search processes that resulted in what is an incredibly strong APL executive leadership team.
“The focus of the whole organisation remains on delivering a successful Isuzu UTE A-League Men and Liberty A-League Women 2023-24 season.”
In a closing statement, Townsend reflected on his time that saw considerable growth.
“We’ve made incredible progress over the last three years and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved as independent leagues. I will always feel privileged to have had this opportunity to serve the game I love. I very much look forward to seeing it continue to grow at pace,” he added via media release.