Adelaide United shocked by Petrillo resignation

Michael Petrillo has resigned as Adelaide United CEO a month out from the start of the A-League season in a decision that has shocked the club.

Adelaide's founding CEO spent almost a decade with the Reds, barring six months when he agreed to help establish North Queensland Fury.

The announcement comes less than two months after FFA Cup winning coach Josep Gombau also walked.

Petrillo highlighted how hard it was to leave Adelaide but, on reflection, said the timing was right.

“It was a very difficult decision for me to make, but after 10 years I thought it was the right time to make the change now before the start of the new season to allow a period of transition,” Petrillo said.

Adelaide United Director, Bruno Marveggio, said Petrillo’s decision took everyone by surprise.

“The decision comes as a complete shock to everyone associated with the club,” Marveggio said.

“We respect Michael's decision and are very thankful for everything he has done for the Adelaide United Football Club. 

“Now we’ll begin the search for the best person who can continue to take this football club forward.”

Petrillo will continue in his role until the end of the month, assisting the club in finding his replacement.

A statement from the club read: “Everyone at the Adelaide United Football Club wishes Michael the absolute best for his future and we would like to wholeheartedly thank him for his unequivocal commitment and passion in bringing the Club to the forefront of Australian football.”

The outspoken Petrillo was instrumental in the development of Adelaide United’s new state-of-the-art training facility at Playford which will open next week.

He also oversaw the club’s entry into the FFSA National Premier League and the implementation of a new football philosophy which has seen the resurgence of the Reds as an A-League force.

Petrillo said: “I’m so thankful to have been able to work for a great club and leave with some fantastic memories and life-long friends.

“The club is primed to move forward with a great coaching and playing group and an amazing training facility now in place.”

He started with Adelaide United as the club’s founding CEO in its first A-League season in 2005, a role he held until 2007.

He then stepped into the Football Director’s role where he stayed until March 2009 before agreeing to help start-up club North Queensland Fury – no longer in the A-League.

Less than six months later, Petrillo returned to the Reds and continued as its Football Director until in May last year he was once again appointed CEO, performing both roles.