Adrian Anderson has resigned from one of the top jobs at the AFL after nine years.
In the third executive departure from Andrew Demetriou's team since the end of the season, Anderson's decision to quit follows Demetriou's strong support of his second in command Gillon McLachlan as the league's chief-executive-in-waiting.
Fairfax Media understands that Anderson, 40, the AFL's football operations boss, has been planning his departure for some months also in the knowledge that Demetriou was looking at restructuring his position in a move which would have diminished Anderson's influence within the organisation.
Anderson is understood to have reached his decision to leave after lengthy conversations with a number of commissioners, including chairman Mike Fitzpatrick and Demetriou himself.
He is believed to have received strong interest from other sports and is not expected to remain at the AFL beyond Christmas.
The move comes as AFL auditors continue to investigate the Melbourne Football Club for deliberately forfeiting games to gain early draft picks in 2009 and follows last Friday's heavy sanctions handed down to the Adelaide Football Club, key Crows officials and former player Kurt Tippett.
Anderson, who came to the AFL as a 31-year-old lawyer, restructured the game's on-field judiciary process, established the AFL's integrity unit and was instrumental in implementing some radical changes to the laws of the game.
MORE TO COME