Rugby League Expert & Columnist
Potential CEO appointment positive for Super League, says Terry O'Connor
Last Updated: 14/03/18 3:40pm
The potential creation of a Super League CEO is a positive one which could raise standards and keep the best talent on these shores, according to Sky Sports' Terry O'Connor.
Everton CEO Robert Elstone is set to return to Super League as the new Chief Executive. He's previously been on the board at Castleford Tigers and was involved in the creation of Super League.
What would he bring, and what would be his priorities?
"He's got a big job ahead of him, hasn't he?" O'Connor said. "There's going to be a pulling away from the RFL from Super League, to appoint their own CEO.
"There's a big job for him. There's a lot of things he's got to do. In the future years, there's going to be a new TV deal which he's got to sort out.
"He'll have to look at the structure of Super League, will that change? The formation of the league?
"He's got to appoint more staff because if there is that pull away from the RFL and the Super League clubs do want more control for themselves, he's got a whole backroom staff that he needs to bring in.
"He's had experience in Super league before, he was a Cas director, he was also involved in Paris Saint Germain rugby league club in the mid-1990's.
"He's a Cas fan, so he knows the game inside out and he comes back to rugby league after being the CEO of Everton since 2008.
"He has an awful lot of experience and commercial experience which he'll hopefully transfer over to rugby league.
"With that, we can keep the talent in Super league, ensure they don't have to go over to the NRL. He can grow revenue streams and raise the standards."
Another boardroom move this week saw Steve Gill stand down as Castleford Chief Executive and Sky Sports' very own Jon Wells join the club as Director of Rugby.
How much of a secret has he kept that potential move from O'Connor and co?
"There's been a lot of rumours over the last year or so but I hope he gets to share with us first and foremost once he goes into that position!" O'Connor added.
"He goes in with a lot of enthusiasm, he played for the club as a youngster when he started off his career. He has a lot of desire.
"He's a very determined lad as well is Jon. He's going into a side which has done remarkably well and one which is well and truly punching above their weight.
"When you think that Castleford has only got a population of 40,000 people, it's amazing where they are in the competition.
"Last year they got to the Grand Final. They failed to lift that, but they won the League Leaders' Shield, they've got to the Challenge Cup final over recent years, and that was all under Steve Gill.
"So it's a big loss for them to lose Steve, who has done tremendous work over his time at the club but it's a big bonus that they do have someone like Jon wells to go back into the club.
"I'm sure he'll be working extra hard, not only with Sky Sports but with Castleford as well!"
Fellow Sky Sports Rugby League pundit and columnist Brian Carney's take on Wells' new position was similarly positive to O'Connor.
"I wish him the very best," Carney told Sky Sports. "He's joining a club that has, both on and off the field, made notable progress over the last four or five years.
"I know from working closely with Jon how passionate he is about the game and about the Tigers. I wish him all the best and look forward to continuing to work with him on Sky.
"He's intelligent and articulate and I do know from speaking to him that he wants Castleford Tigers to become a 'big' club.
"It's a small town that consistently punches above its weight and Jon wants to help take this club into the 'big' club group."