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Steele Steps Down From RFU Role

Chief steps down after emergency board meeting

Posted Jun 17, 2011 by Chris White

The RFU need to appoint a new boss

After an emergency board meeting at the end of last week, John Steele, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football Union, stood down from his position following more disagreements over the proposed performance director position within the organisation.

Steele made the decision to alter the job description regarding the role of the performance director, ensuring that they had no influence on the England squad or team selection, leaving Martin Johnson in sole charge of the team. Former coach Sir Clive Woodward was linked to the position but distanced himself from the performance director job after the job was changed. The role was then altered again, back to it’s original specification, but Woodward has again ruled himself out of the running, opting to stay with the British Olympic Association.

There were calls for Steele to step down from his position as Chief Executive last week, with several key members of the governing body questioning his suitability for the role, which were echoed by the media in the UK, but Steele remained defiant.

Obviously, whatever was said at the meeting last Friday was the final straw for Steele, and he handed in his resignation. Maybe a change of direction was needed within the RFU, so they can clear up the mess that is becoming the performance director job. If they’re not careful, nobody is going to want the job with the number of times the specification is being changed.

A new Chief Executive and clarification of the position is needed, and quickly. The decision does need to be the right one, but they need it sorting out soon before potential candidates get frustrated and take up roles elsewhere – such as Woodward and his Olympic Association job. The RFU are in danger of going down the same route as the Football Association and becoming a laughing stock if they carry on as they are at present.

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