Ralph Rimmer and Karen Moorhouse to leave Rugby Football League

Josh McAllister
Ralph Rimmer

Ralph Rimmer is to stand down as chief executive of the Rugby Football League at the end of this year. 

He will have served for more than 12 years with the governing body, having joined as chief operating officer in October 2010. Rimmer took over as CEO in January 2018.

Executive director Karen Moorhouse will also leave in December. She has been with the RFL since 2008, when she joined as Compliance Manager. Moorhouse is a non-executive director of Rugby League World Cup 2021, and a trustee of Rugby League Cares.

Rimmer said: “It’s the right time – for the sport, and for me.

“It has been the biggest privilege of my life to be CEO of the RFL – and an immense challenge and responsibility to fill that role during such a tumultuous period for all sport, and for rugby league in particular.

“After the initial shock of Covid and as its impact on sport became apparent, we resolved that we must do much more than survive, and instead use it as an opportunity to set rugby league on a new course.

“We have reshaped the sport’s governance, with the formation of a new commercial arm serving the whole of the sport – an essential step to forge a partnership with IMG which is unique in British sport, and holds the potential to take rugby league to a new level.

Ralph Rimmer: ‘They are a world class operation’

“They are a world class operation, with world class people. And they are working with a magnificent sport, as we look ahead to the unique opportunities of the Rugby League World Cup in England this autumn.

“These changes have been planned and mutually agreed between myself and the RFL Board for some time and as a result we have spoken at various club forums on their necessity.

“I have been around the sport long enough to know that you cannot please everyone in a position such as this – and indeed, that you should never attempt to do so.

“But it’s the people in rugby league, on and off the field, who make it such a special sport. I am grateful to my incredible colleagues over more than a decade at the RFL, and to those at Rugby League Cares, Super League Europe, the Rugby League World Cup, and also to so many great friends across rugby league.

“Whatever I do next, I’ll always be available to rugby league, in whatever way I can help. For the next few months, however, my focus will be on playing my part in the significant changes that are ongoing. And on supporting our England Men’s, Women’s, Wheelchair and PDRL teams as we finally welcome the rugby league world.”

PODCASTMatty Russell opens up on overcoming gambling and alcohol demons, & how Toulouse has reacted to Super League relegation

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast