Roger Draper to quit role as RFL chief commercial officer
Last Updated: 09/01/18 12:10pm
Roger Draper will quit his role as Rugby Football League chief commercial officer at the end of January.
Draper, a former Lawn Tennis Association chief executive, joined the rugby league governing body as chief commercial officer just over a year ago.
The news comes just four days after Nigel Wood announced his resignation as RFL chief executive and in the wake of a successful move by the 12 Super League clubs to seize more control of the purse strings.
Draper, who will also step down as Super League executive director, says he has taken the decision to commit more time to his other business interests.
"As a huge fan of the sport it is with a heavy heart that I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the Rugby Football League," he said in a statement.
"It was always my intention to come into the organisation for just a couple of years and give everything to bring more commercial revenue into this great sport.
"With a number of significant commercial announcements due in the coming weeks and the new season about to begin, I believe that now is the right time for me to move on.
"Leaving before the start of the season will allow my successor the necessary time to continue the important work of bringing in vital commercial revenue to the sport and to also prepare the organisation for the next broadcast deal, with the current deal ending in 2021.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Rugby Football League and would like to wish the organisation all the very best for the future."
Acting RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: "I would like to thank Roger for his hard work and contributions in his time here at the Rugby Football League.
"He has made some significant changes and will leave the sport in a strong commercial position going forward. Roger has acted with passion and professionalism and we wish him all the best in the future."
Draper, who was chief executive of the LTA from 2006-13 and held a similar role with Sport England from 2003-06, was a surprise appointment as chief executive of Warrington in February 2015.
Rimmer is now restructuring the RFL's executive team, which currently includes Mark Foster (commercial/marketing ), Karen Moorhouse (regulatory) and Tony Sutton (central services), and says there will be further senior recruitment to cover on-field matters in the near future.
The latest announcement comes just a fortnight before the launch of the 2018 season.