Alan Schwab

Sport administrator

Alan Schwab (1940–1993) attended CHS from 1955 to 1957. He was an excellent student and a dedicated cricketer and footballer. Alan was captain of Form 3D in 1955 and for two years (1956–57) was a member of both the First XI Cricket and the First XVIII Football teams. When he wasn’t playing sport, Alan was reading about it. It was obvious from his early teens that sport would play a big part in his life.

Soon after leaving Camberwell High, Alan joined the powerful Victorian Football League (VFL) as a junior clerk. He stayed with the league’s administration team until 1965 when he moved to the St Kilda Football Club as Assistant Secretary. St Kilda had transferred its headquarters to Moorabbin that year and was only one year away from its first VFL premiership. Alan was part of it all, involved in the running of the club and in the recruiting of players.

By 1969, the year he moved to the Richmond Football Club, Alan was hailed as one of football’s best-equipped young administrators. Alan replaced Graeme Richmond, regarded at the time as the most dynamic of all football secretaries and a man from whom Alan learnt a great deal. He remained at Richmond in the chief administrative role until 1976, by which time Richmond had won three premierships. Alan was elected a life member of the Richmond Football Club and served as its director at the VFL.

Having seen first-hand how clubs operated, Alan returned to the VFL in 1977 as its administration manager. He became the league representative on the Junior Football Council and from 1978–1982 he was Secretary of the Victorian Country Football League (VCFL). He was also the founder and the first Secretary of the Victorian Metropolitan Football League (VMFL).

Alan’s great energy for football help reshape the game, and its objectives, in the modern era. In 1982 he was appointed Assistant General Manager of the VFL and was also made Executive Director of the Sydney Swans. Formerly the South Melbourne Football Club, the Swans had just relocated from Melbourne to Sydney. The VFL honoured Alan with its Outstanding Service Award for his work in both the VCFL and the VMFL. In 1985 he became the Executive Director of the VFL and its delegate to the Australian National Football League.

The VFL made sweeping changes to its decision-making machinery in 1985 with the introduction of an independent commission, which was given the charter to implement its plans for the long-term welfare of Australian Rules Football; Alan was appointed the Executive Commissioner. Alan then became an Australian Football League Commissioner.