Simon Lethlean

Simon Lethlean (born 17 November 1975) is a former Australian Football League (AFL) football operations manager and the current general manager of football at St Kilda Football Club.

Simon Lethlean
Lethlean in February 2016
Simon Lethlean

(1975-11-17) 17 November 1975
OccupationSt Kilda general manager of football
Known forAustralian Football League executive


Previously working as a commercial solicitor, Lethlean began working for the AFL in 2004.[1][2] He worked across various roles at the league, where he was involved in the legal department, broadcasting, fixturing, and game development.[1][3][4] As general manager of game development at the league he was involved in the creation of the AFL Women's league, and oversaw its inaugural season.[4][5]

In March 2017, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced that Lethlean would be replacing outgoing football operations manager Mark Evans, who was taking on the CEO position at Gold Coast Football Club.[4] Lethlean retained his role in running the AFL Women's competition.[4]

In July 2017 following media reports of "inappropriate relationships" within AFL headquarters, McLachlan announced that Lethlean had resigned from his position within the league.[6] It emerged that Lethlean had been involved in an extra-marital relationship with a younger female staff member from the AFL's New South Wales office.[7] The relationship had begun a year earlier in August 2016, but had ended prior to Lethlean taking on the football operations role.[8] He also resigned from his position as a director of statistics company Champion Data, which is part owned by the league.[9]

Following his departure from the AFL, it was reported that Lethlean was seeking a CEO position at an AFL club. He had been linked to chief executive openings at Collingwood, Carlton, and Hawthorn, and later to the head of football department role at Essendon, but in December 2017 it was announced that he would become general manager of football at the St Kilda Football Club from the beginning of 2018.[1][10] The role became vacant following a restructure caused by the departure of Saints chief operating officer Ameet Bains.[10]

Playing/coaching career

Lethlean played for the Hawthorn reserves side,[11] playing in 40 games during the 1990s before later playing for the Old Xaverians, where he was involved in five premierships.[4][12] He went on to captain the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) representative team. Lethlean later returned to the Old Xaverians as coach, winning premierships again in 2009 and 2010.[12] He also coached the VAFA representative side to six wins from six games.[13]

Personal life

Lethlean attended Camberwell Grammar[11] and studied law through the University of Melbourne's Sports Law Program.[12][14][15] He is married and has four children.[8][12]


  1. Colangelo, Anthony (15 December 2017). "Simon Lethlean deserves a second chance, say Saints". The Age.
  2. Anderson, Jon (20 July 2017). "Jon Anderson examines the rise and temporary fall of Simon Lethlean". Herald Sun.
  3. Warner, Michael (30 October 2014). "Simon Lethlean devises AFL draw, one of world sport's most complicated fixtures". Herald Sun.
  4. "Simon Lethlean appointed AFL football operations manager". Herald Sun. 3 March 2017.
  5. Chris, Cavanagh (25 February 2017). "AFL chiefs plan expanded two-week AFLW finals series for 2018 season". Herald Sun.
  6. Drill, Stephen (15 July 2017). "AFL press conference days after affair claim". Herald Sun.
  7. Warner, Michael (9 November 2017). "AFL sex scandal: Inquiries made with senior league figures months before Simon Lethlean resigned". Herald Sun.
  8. Drill, Stephen (14 July 2017). "AFL sex scandal: Simon Lethlean's finals frolics stun colleagues". Herald Sun.
  9. Drill, Stephen; Rolfe, Peter (19 July 2017). "AFL affair fallout: Simon Lethlean steps down from Champion Data". Herald Sun.
  10. "Simon Lethlean joins St Kilda as football boss". The Australian. 16 December 2017.
  11. "Hawthorn in Detail". Football Record: 17. 22 April 1994. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  12. Beitzel, Brad (7 July 2013). "Simon says". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. Beitzel, Brad (10 June 2014). "Simon Lethlean returns to coach Old Xaverians". The Age.
  14. Wilson, Caroline (29 September 2012). "The Xavier network". The Age.
  15. Little, Amy (June 2013). "Mastering the game". MLS News. Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. Issue 9.
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