I just wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on a key piece of work I am currently involved with.
As you know, I stepped down as Chairman in February 2019 with the intention of leaving the Board altogether. However, as Kenny took on the role of Chairman, we hit the Covid pandemic and I was asked to stay on. This was mainly to help the Board navigate through the complexities of the furlough scheme given my previous experience of working at HMRC. I was then asked to pick up other “bits and pieces” and my role has, over the last few years, evolved into “Strategy and Planning” which is quite a grand title. It basically covers producing plans, reports and formal returns to the RFL, and the Board, on a range of issues from Return on Investment (Governance, Finance, Media impact, Footfall, Inclusivity and Diversity) to Compliance strategy, fixtures and league structures, to a Sustainability action plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. Yes, that is an RFL requirement for all Clubs. I also attend the RFL League and Council meetings on behalf of the Club
In addition to this work, my role is to develop strategies that will help the Club grow and become more sustainable. In fact, as Covid hit, I was in negotiations with potential investors from Australia, with a strong background in Rugby League, about taking a shared, or full, ownership of the Club. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit their business, and, in the end, we couldn’t move the deal forward as we had hoped. Since then, I have looked at other options and in particular I’ve been working hard over the last year to put together an exciting proposition for both the Club, the wider sports centre, and the local community with a social investment company. Talks remain sensitive, but I am aware that as we engage more people in our plans, rumours will inevitably start to surface. When you hear a rumour though it’s important to remember that I’m the guy that’s been at all of the meetings and leading negotiations on behalf of the Club. To that end, I hope to be in a position to let you have more information shortly so please watch out for further announcements in the coming weeks. We will also look to underpin that with a supporters Q&A on Friday 12th August at 7.30pm in the Phoenix to discuss the opportunity as well as update you on the challenges we currently face and the ongoing game wide consultation with IMG to “re-imagine the sport”.
I look forward to seeing you on the 12th August
# So We Shall Again