When he was named as Chief Executive of Melbourne in 1985, Dr. Roy Gilbert represented one of the stranger appointments in VFL history.
In the same year where Collingwood signed a CEO from the world of ballet, Melbourne hired a former Chief General Manager of the Ministry of Housing and a career long public servant with a Ph.D in economics education and a background in Newcastle rather than footy mad Melbourne.
In his time at the housing department he had arranged for a block of old commission flats to be demolished as a symbol of changing philosophies and had radically restructed the administration.
Described as "enthusiastic, innovative, flamboyant controversial, abrasive and successful" he replaced Dick Seddon who had been a lifelong Demon and spent many years around the club before being appointed in 1982.
Gilbert resigned after six months in the job, citing an ambition to concentrate full-time on writing a novel and a book on management. It was, however, suggested that he had problems with the conservatism of the oldest football club and that as an outsider to the game he found it hard to bring people around to his ideas.
Shortly before his resignation he had suggested that the VFL cut admission prices by a dollar to encourage higher attendances, but his proposal was shot down by other clubs.
He admitted to surprise as the club’s financial position when arrived, but on leaving suggested a management review had solved most of the club’s administrative problems, and when asked who should replace him he said: “I think they should ask themselves if they need the job at all”.