Melbourne Victory CEO Trent Jacobs set to depart

CEO Trent Jacobs is the latest figure to depart Melbourne Victory, with the club announcing on Friday that the long-time servant and current chief executive would exit in the coming weeks.

In an afternoon statement, the four-time A-League champions said that Jacobs, who has been at the club in some capacity for 13 years, had decided to move on from his current role with the club – one he had held since March of 2018. 

A significant portion of his tenure spent attempting to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victory won the 2017/18 A-League Championship, 2018/19 W-League Premiership, the 2020/21 W-League Championship and were 2019/20 Y-League Grand Finalists during his time as the club’s chief executive.

Jacobs’ departure comes just over a fortnight on from the dismissal of Grant Brebner as A-League coach and subsequent appointment of Tony Popovic on a three-year deal that will commence in July – the former Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory boss becoming the third full-time and fifth overall coach to guide Victory since the departure of Kevin Muscat following the 2018/19 season.

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With Marco Kurz, Carlos Salvachua and eventually Brebner at the helm, a 10th-placed finish in a 11-team competition arrived in 2019/20 and, Steve Kean serving as a caretaker following the axing of Brebner, Victory currently occupies 11th on the 12-team 2020/21 A-League table. 

Kean made headlines mid-week when he labelled Popovic as “out of order” and “unprofessional” after learning that he had begun the process of culling the club’s 2021-22 squad without informing him.

Popovic is set to be handed a wide-ranging mandate to reshape the club’s A-League department as he sees fit once he arrives at AAMI Park, and Jacobs cited the imminent reforms in his departing remarks. 

“With a refresh of our football department due to occur when Tony Popovic takes the helm for next season, now is the right time to depart the blub as it heads towards a new era both on and off the pitch,” said Jacobs.

“It has been a very difficult 14 months, in particular through COVID-19, and after reflecting over the past few weeks I made the difficult decision not to continue in the chief executive role.  

“I want to spend more time with my family, who have supported me incredibly over this period, and take some time to consider my future and next steps. 

“That said, I leave with many wonderful memories, experiences and achievements over the 13 years and thank everyone at the club for their support.”

Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro thanked his outgoing chief executive for his work in helping to grow Victory across his tenure. 

“We would like to thank Trent for his contribution to the Club,” Di Pietro said. 

“He has played a significant role in the growth of Melbourne Victory over a long period of time, driving revenues, strategy and developing new areas of the business.

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“He has worked tirelessly during his tenure, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to properly acknowledging Trent’s achievements as the season reaches its conclusion.”

In revealing the departure of Jacobs, Victory also announced that Caroline Carnegie was set to be appointed as managing director of the club. 

Having previously juggled her role as a Victory director and company secretary with her responsibilities as a partner at law firm K&L Gates – the same firm as Football Australia chairman Chris Nikou – Carnegie will take a hiatus from her legal work to focus on her new responsibilities. 

Set to become the first women to head the administration of an A-League and W-League club, she previously led Australian Professional Leagues’ legal team during the leagues’ unbundling from Football Australia and is also a member of the federation’s Women’s Council. 

Beyond the A-League giants, she has also worked with AFL side North Melbourne, Super Rugby club Melbourne Rebels, Big Bash side Melbourne Renegades and Netball Australia.

Carnegie will commence her new role immediately, while Jacobs’ will transition away over the course of the number of weeks to proceedings go smoothly. 

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Header Image Credit: Chris Gospel/Melbourne Victory

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