Perth Glory have confirmed the resignation of football director Jacob Burns.
The move was not unexpected because of Burns’ close links with Tony Popovic who controversially resigned as coach to join Greek club Xanthi last month.
At the time Glory announced there would be a restructure of the management team.
Burns is no stranger to controversy.
He led a player revolt that ended with the sacking of then coach Alistair Edwards seven years ago.
Burns, who was captain at the time, accused Edwards of nepotism after leaving him on the bench when he returned from a two-week suspension, claiming the coach was favouring his sons over better players.
The former Socceroos midfielder, who played for Leeds United joined the club in 2009 and captained Glory to a maiden A-League grand final three years later.
He was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for his performance in the final.
Burns played 116 A-League games before retiring in 2014 and went on to be Glory Academy coach, director and technical director before moving into the football director role.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said Burns had made a major contribution to the club in his playing, coaching and administrative roles.
“Jacob’s achievements as a Glory player speak for themselves,” Pignata said.
“He has also been a key force in driving the club forward in his subsequent off-field roles.
“The major part he played in establishing the academy as one of the best of its kind in the country adds to the impressive legacy that he leaves behind.
“On behalf of everyone associated with Perth Glory, I would like to thank him for his years of service and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Burns said he was leaving with a heavy heart after 11-years at the club.
“I have decided that the time has come to step away and allow others to control the football direction,” he said.
“I was honoured to be given the opportunity and am extremely proud of the legacy and foundations that I leave behind.
“During my time as Glory captain, I felt that our achievements put the club firmly back on the scene as a force within the new, modern A-League.
“Since retiring and moving into a variety of other roles, I feel very proud to have been involved in founding the academy, helping the academy gain 2-star recognition and launching our first two academy schools.
“In terms of the senior team, I am similarly proud of our four finals and two FFA Cup Final appearances, reaching a grand final played out in front of a record crowd at Optus Stadium and, of course, securing the club’s maiden Premiers’ Plate and qualification for the AFC Champions League.
“It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye for now and I will continue to support the club I love from the stands.
“I would like to thank Tony, Lucy and the Sage family for their support and of course, our wonderfully loyal members and fans.”