Rugby League: Steve Kerr appointed CEO of Rochdale Hornets

Date published: 27 November 2017

Steve Kerr has been appointed as Rochdale Hornets new chief executive, succeeding previous CEO Adam Bates.

Following the departure of Mr Bates at the beginning of November, Mr Kerr has helped guide the club through the early stages of pre-season. The board acted quickly to appoint him, having been "impressed with his ideas, passion for change and the way he has conducted club affairs".

Mark Wynn, Hornets chairman, said: “Steve is no stranger to the club having helped reshape the Foundation activities and deliver on their promise of getting more people playing rugby league more often.

"He has worked alongside Adam for the past six months and is already up to speed with the day to day activities of running a rugby football club.

“Steve brings a wealth of knowledge to the club from his background in sport management and sports development, he has also worked in the financial sector and brings a new set of skills that will benefit us moving forward.

"We are excited about the change in senior leadership, as it provides the club with a fresh start and stability going into the 2017/18 season.

“We all wish Adam the best for the future following his decision to step down. The pressure of travelling between Rochdale and Nottingham, coupled with the birth of his first child ultimately sees Adam leave the club.

“Adam is one of the good guys and we are sorry to see him leave. The club was in good hands with Adam at the helm, and we hope he will be able to get involved with future club activities.”

Mr Kerr officially began his role as the CEO on MOndya, a role that incorporates leading the Foundation at a strategic level as well as supporting the board with governance and strategy. For now, his attention will be on the operations of the club as the start of 2018 season moves closer.

He said: “I am pleased to be offered the opportunity to lead this historic rugby league club. It has a fantastic heritage, a dedicated volunteer and staffing team and above all a passionate and loyal support. I’m looking forward to working with our supporters and members and to meeting you all at the AGM on the 17 of December.

“Although It has not been and easy few weeks at the club, we have been able to navigate through the end of season challenges.

"I have a great relationship with head coach Alan Kilshaw, who has put together an impressive team for the coming season, and I am looking forward to building upon last season.”

When asked about the immediate challenges ahead, he was quick to share his simple vision for the club moving forward.

He said: “We can only be successful on the field if we are successful off it. We have a lot of work to do, but the simplicity of the challenge ahead is to improve on the number of supporters and members coming to the club; increase the number of people playing rugby league across Rochdale and improve our profile to increase revenue into the club.

“If I can do all this next week I’d be happy.”

Mr Kerr gave an insight into what his transition means for the Foundation moving forward.

He said: “I believe it is in an even stronger position as we move to restructure the club and foundation to ensure better synergy between the community and clubs objectives. I will be leading on strategy for both, and for the first time there will be shared actions and outcomes. We will need to bring in some new faces, starting with a new community coach to help deliver on our expanding programmes.”

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