Wigan welcome appointment of Robert Elstone, says Kris Radlinski

Drew Darbyshire

Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski has welcomed the appointment of Robert Elstone as chief executive of Super League.

Elstone yesterday met with the media for the first time after starting in his new role of Super League CEO last week.

Fundamental changes to the way Super League is run already sees the board include a Director of each of the 12 Super League clubs and the RFL Chairman, led by Robert Elstone as Chief Executive.

On the appointment of Elstone, Radlinski said: “I truly believe that this is a fantastic appointment for the game and for Super League.

“Some people may not have known of Robert up until recently but his knowledge of Rugby League is unquestionable. He has a great skillset built up over many years of experience at the very highest level of sport and a clear vision as to what we need to do to improve.

“The way Robert opened the press conference yesterday and set out his vision was very open and engaging and he had everyone in the room listening attentively throughout.

“He wasn’t reading from any notes, he was speaking with pure passion and I can see how people will want to work with him. I was enthused by the press conference and the reaction from everyone in the room.

“Everyone involved in this cares deeply about the sport and now is the time to work together and show unity. We are all committed to Super League and the wider game and to making the game better, improving participation and bringing in new commercial partners whilst looking after the great partners already involved.

“This is almost a ‘line in the sand’ moment for the sport. If we are serious about our future then we all need to be on the same side and pulling in the same direction. Having sat in the recent meeting where the four elected members of the Super League team addressed the Championship clubs, I find the recent statements from two minority clubs disappointing. That meeting was about telling people what has happened so far and the vision for Super League’s future with acceptance that many details still need to be worked through between Super League and the RFL. All clubs were welcomed to voice their opinions. There was no dictating.

“The one thing in common at the moment is that everybody cares about Rugby League and there is a large majority of clubs on the Super League Board consistently voting 10 – 2 in favour of the announced direction and Robert Elstone’s leadership.  Words like ‘war’ are not relevant with such a clear democratic majority. Whilst everyone deserves to be listened to, there is very clear large majority support for the Super League direction. It is now up to the strong leadership of the RFL and Super League to resolve the final details and get behind a great future for the Top-Tier of rugby league which also continues to fund the Championship at its current high level and supports promotion and relegation.

“This is a game that provides excitement and enjoyment for many people. That needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“I am the confident that the future of Super League is strong and I see a man in Robert who is determined to make a difference in what he described as his ‘dream job’.”