CRONULLA chief executive Lyall Gorman heads an impressive shortlist of potential candidates for the vacant CEO position at Manly.
The Daily Telegraph revealed on Tuesday that the Sea Eagles had officially kickstarted their extensive search to replace Tim Cleary, who left in May.
Although the club’s hunt in its infancy, Gorman’s name has already been mentioned in influential places at Brookvale.
Several senior administrators from high-profile AFL clubs have shown interest in the role.
Manly owner and club chairman Scott Penn would not comment on the issue. It is known however, Gorman and Penn are friends.
Other candidates thought to be in the mix include Canterbury chief executive Raelene Castle, 2017 Rugby League World Cup CEO, Andrew Hill, Leeds Rhinos CEO, Gary Hetherington, New Zealand Warriors boss Jim Doyle and Gold Coast Titans chief operating officer and former Manly forward Tony Mestrov.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Cronulla officials approached Manly officials to discuss the Gorman situation before last Sunday’s match between the two clubs.
The names of candidates currently in AFL roles remain a mystery.
Gorman, who has had premiership success with Cronulla and A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers, said: “I didn’t even know there was a vacant CEO job. That’s how well I am going.
“I just got the Bulldogs (vacant CEO job) emailed me. That’s just headhunters doing their job. I haven’t had any discussions at all, anywhere.
“My focus is to help work through (Cronulla’s) cash flow to make sure we are financially viable. That’s where my focus is at the minute. I am just focused on my job here.”
Penn and his recruitment agency are unlikely to genuinely consider any internal candidates.
On Monday, Penn told The Daily Telegraph his club had to secure the right candidate who can rid the “toxic” environment which has engulfed the front office.
Cleary, Joe Kelly, David Perry, Grant Mayer, Graham Lowe, Paul Cummings, Pat Wilson and Ian Thomson have been in charge at times since 2003.
“This is about making sure we talk to the people who have, ideally, had some sports administration experience, given the nuances of the game,” Penn said on Monday.
“We absolutely have to find the right person. Whilst it seemingly has been a revolving door, we know where we want to be. There are some quality candidates in the market. We have an exciting future.”
Penn has been filling in as acting CEO since Cleary left with the club hoping to nail down its new chief executive in the coming weeks.