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Hawthorn’s year from hell erupts with boss walking out


Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves has walked out of the AFL club.

Reeves reportedly told the board on Wednesday that he could no longer do the job.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves announces mid-year resignation.

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7NEWS football reporter Tom Browne confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon.

“Sources suggest he just didn’t want to do it anymore,” Browne said.

Hawthorn have been in the middle of an explosive racism investigation since late last year which has also engulfed their former coach Alastair Clarkson and his assistant at the time, Chris Fagan (who now coaches the Brisbane Lions).

Justin Reeves has been feeling the pressure during Hawthorn’s nightmare season. Credit: Getty Images

The investigation has dragged on well into 2023 and also become personal, with several club identities turning on each other over the past few months.

Even this morning former Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge took aim at former president Jeff Kennett after a Kennett tweet about Damien Hardwick that also appeared to be a not-so-subtle swipe at Clarkson.

Kennett had always believed that Clarkson stayed on too long at Hawthorn and in his tweet he said Hardwick had left the AFL “with his reputation in tact and saluted by all in the industry” by “calling time on himself when he felt necessary”.

That comment infuriated Hodge.

“There was no need for him to put that end part in (the tweet), because it was clearly … anyone with half a brain could realise he was having a dig at Clarko,” Hodge said on SEN.

“I thought that was very, very poor taste from someone who should know better.”

Only last week Clarkson stood down from his position as senior coach of North Melbourne due to the emotional fallout of the lingering investigation.

The investigation has also combined with the club’s brutal rebuild where it traded senior players at the end of last season and they have struggled since to win games.

“The toll of this situation particularly in recent weeks just became too heavy,” Browne said.

Hawthorn president Andy Gowers said Reeves had made a “brave” decision and thanked him for his services.

He said Reeves now wanted to “prioritise his mental health and wellbeing” and spend more time with family.

“Justin is a highly respected sporting executive, which is a reputation built from delivering great results and running sound operations for more than 15 years in AFL football,” Gowers said in a statement.

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“I thank Justin for his unwavering commitment to the Hawks over nearly six years, during which there has been some challenging periods that required astute leadership.

“Hawthorn has initiated a search for a new CEO and we look forward to working with acting CEO Ash Klein in the meantime.”

Hawthorn are third bottom on the ladder and only have two wins from their 10 games this season.

Those wins have come against the two teams below them on the ladder, North Melbourne and West Coast.

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Source: 7News