Stephen Kernahan
Stephen Kernahan

Businessmen Luke Sayers and Ahmed Fahour are in the running to be the next Carlton president after it was announced Stephen Kernahan would step down in October next year.

Kernahan, president since 2008, agreed to step down in 13 months as part of a board reshuffle that was thrashed out at a monthly board meeting at Visy Park on Wednesday night.

"I believe it is in the best interests of the club to set a date now as it gives everyone time to plan for the future," Kernahan said in a club statement.

"I am certainly appreciative of the board in supporting this decision and giving me their full support for another 13 months."

Fahour is chief executive of Australia Post while Sayers is the chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia.

Both have no experience working at football clubs.

Sponsor and lifelong supporter Ryan Trainor and Craig Mathieson, the nephew of Carlton's pokies benefactor Bruce Mathieson, will also join the Carlton board in October while Mark Harrison and Ari Suss will step down, leaving the Blues with 13 board members.

"Part of our five-year strategic plan, through until the end of 2015, is to reduce our board numbers, however our priority at this time is to ensure we have the right people involved with Carlton," Kernahan said.

"Enlarging the board provides greater choice for succession that will benefit the Carlton Football Club and enable us to reduce the number of directors."

Kernahan joined the club's Board of Directors and in 2006 and was made interim president when Carlton president Graham Smorgon was voted off by members in 2007.

Within days he relinquished the position for Dick Pratt but was re-elected when Pratt's health diminished two years later.

Kernahan, captain of the Carlton's Team of the Century, has endured a tumultuous close to the 2012 season with the sacking of coach Brett Ratten and subsequent appointment of Mick Malthouse drawing widespread criticism from Carlton members and the media.

Under Kernahan, the Blues went from wooden spooners to finalists from 2009 to 2011 before a fadeout this season saw them stoop from early-season premiership favourites to a disappointing 10th.


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