After a year of discovering who really runs Australia, The Power Index is finally set to reveal the country's fifty most powerful people.
Throughout July, Paul Barry and The Power Index team will be counting down the most influential people in the nation from business, media, politics, sport and culture.
The Power 50 / 2012
Born in: Melbourne
Friends: Don Watson | Red Symonds
Foes: The Daily Telegraph
Home Town: Melbourne
In a country where sport means more than religion, Andrew Demetriou's church is the biggest and most dominant. But it's not enough for the AFL pontiff. He’s spreading the word in search of more disciples, even if it means gambling on the game's future.
He's already got the audience: of the four big codes last year, the AFL boasted the highest crowd attendance (more than 7 million), the most club members (more than 650,000), the biggest TV deal (more than $1.25 billion over five years) and the largest revenue ($336 million).
And lucky for Demetriou, he's got the salary too, he’s the best-paid sports boss in the land, taking home a $2.2 million pay cheque.
But where the 51-year-old has been truly aggressive, almost evangelical-like, is in his driving thirst to expand the size of the league into opposition turf. This year the AFL welcomed its 18th team, Greater Western Sydney, while the Gold Coast Suns joined the fray last year.
Despite all the fanfare and hype, there is a sense that Demetriou's march into enemy territory might be a bridge too far. But only time will tell whether Western Sydney ends up being his Waterloo.