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RFU : Steele resigns

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paddy
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RFU : Steele resigns Empty RFU : Steele resigns

Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 10:30 am

Rugby Football Union chief executive John Steele has left his post.

Steele had come under pressure after the RFU's chaotic search for a new elite performance director.

He removed overall responsibility for the senior England team from the job description, seemingly to block the possible return of 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward.

But that decision was reversed following an emergency meeting of the RFU board.

Woodward, currently director of sport at the British Olympic Association and deputy chef de mission for Team GB in London 2012, subsequently said he was not interested in a return to rugby union.

Former England captain Fran Cotton, who managed the British and Irish Lions during their series win over South Africa in 1997, called for Steele to resign over the confusion.

Steele, who was appointed in June 2010, admitted the search has not been conducted as he would have liked.

But the former head of UK Sport insisted that the speculation and criticism around the performance director role was out of proportion.

He vowed to ride out the pressure, telling BBC Sport on 31 May: "People who know me will tell you, when I set my mind to do something, as I have here, I will see it through."


link - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13723705.stm

SCW has the chance to move England and the clubs on?

After the Olympics?

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 10 Jun 2011, 10:36 am

Interesting times Portnoy, interesting times
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Post by Islingtonv2 Fri 10 Jun 2011, 10:43 am

what a farce the whole situation has been, makes a laughing stock of the RFU. Carling was right 15 years ago and nothing much has changed since.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 10 Jun 2011, 10:49 am

What a shambles!! Beaumont and Taylor and the entire Board should go too

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Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 11:51 am

AsLongAsBut100ofUs wrote:What a shambles!! Beaumont and Taylor and the entire Board should go too

I disagree As.

The shambles was when Steele unilaterally effectively emaciated the performance director's job description. He was forced to back-pedal by Beaumont, Taylor et al.

SCW's Olympic work is more or less complete and I reckon that he could be tempted back to the RFU after the RWC.

But the does sort of imply that the old farts would have to vote like turkeys for Christmas.

But to my mind it's got to be done. Roll on those central contracts and shake-up of the clubs.
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 10 Jun 2011, 12:47 pm

Portnoy, surely the issue was that Steele was determined to at least make the hunt for a Performance Director an open process, whereas the blazers and old school tie brigade simply wanted to give it to one man? - a classic deals behind closed doors stitch up for which the RFU is well known!

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Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:02 pm

Fair enough As, That still doesn't explain the arbitrary change of the job spec.

My guess is that the old farts got their hooters stuck down Steele's ear trumpet. Being mindful of their blazered self-interests.

SCW s the only man to my knowledge who has the CV sufficient to rock the boat effectively.

btw, it's interesting that only I and you (a random Jock Smile ) should e discussing this. If it were Wales or Ireland they would be over this topic like a rash.
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Post by red_stag Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:07 pm

Portnoy thats an interesting one - where are the English posters?
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Post by TrailApe Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:22 pm

I think most would agree that the 'english posters' are split between two camps.

Club over Country vs Country over Club.

However the RFU's bizzare self serving actions have alienated both sides and I for one, am not sure what to think. I thought for once the RFU had done the right thing when they brought in Steele, he's a former Artilleryman (that's good enough for me Very Happy ) and has played and coached rugby at a high level.

Then all this kicks off. I'm a Club man myself, can't really understand how anyone would put their trust in a south eastern based mafia of self serving old farts, this deciscion has just confirmed my (already entrenched) opinions on the suitability of the RFU to have sole control of Rugby in England.
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:25 pm

Portnoy wrote:Fair enough As, That still doesn't explain the arbitrary change of the job spec.

My guess is that the old farts got their hooters stuck down Steele's ear trumpet. Being mindful of their blazered self-interests.

SCW s the only man to my knowledge who has the CV sufficient to rock the boat effectively.

btw, it's interesting that only I and you (a random Jock Smile ) should e discussing this. If it were Wales or Ireland they would be over this topic like a rash.

True, but as my two adopted clubs both come under the auspices of the RFU, then I am concerned!
PS Am I that random? Wink

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Post by Bazzer79 Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:29 pm

I'm here.

I thinks it's onlt fitting that Steele resigns. He c**ked up probably the most vital appointment in Team England's (all levels) development. Whatever people may say about Rob Andrew, his work with all levels of England rugby, look to be bearing fruit. It is vital that this continues.

Steele promised that he would cast his net far and wide in the search of excellence. This it would appear just didn't happen. Changing the remit of the role imo greatly reduced the cahnce of them securing somebody truly world class.

I've been waiting for the return of Sir Clive for a while now, hopefully it's not to far around the corner.

I'm not expecting centralised contracts just yet, and to be honest whilst there are advantages, I like the club game the way it is at the moment. I thinks the EPS is a good system (albeit still ironing out teething problems), what I would like to see is a slight reduction of the amount of minutes EPS players can play for their clubs.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:36 pm

Bazzer79 wrote:I'm here.

I thinks it's onlt fitting that Steele resigns. He c**ked up probably the most vital appointment in Team England's (all levels) development. Whatever people may say about Rob Andrew, his work with all levels of England rugby, look to be bearing fruit. It is vital that this continues.

Steele promised that he would cast his net far and wide in the search of excellence. This it would appear just didn't happen. Changing the remit of the role imo greatly reduced the cahnce of them securing somebody truly world class.

I've been waiting for the return of Sir Clive for a while now, hopefully it's not to far around the corner.

I'm not expecting centralised contracts just yet, and to be honest whilst there are advantages, I like the club game the way it is at the moment. I thinks the EPS is a good system (albeit still ironing out teething problems), what I would like to see is a slight reduction of the amount of minutes EPS players can play for their clubs.

Which is exactly what he wasn't allowed to do! Basically there was a job to be done, but the old farts wanted it done by Woodward, so nothing "far and wide" about that, simply a stitch-up! Anyway, chances are they'll get him now, but I will be laughing when they find that they've bitten off more than they can chew - the Woodward wagon was well and truly rumbled on the 2005 B&I Lions tour - the man is simply not a panacea and to think otherwise is bordering on the naive imo

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Post by Bazzer79 Fri 10 Jun 2011, 1:42 pm

Don't get me wrong. I'm not lauding SCW as the saviour of English rugby. Yes he made mistakes (ok the Lions tour was a biggie), but who doesn't?? I think UK fans need to accept that whatever team and coaches were picked for 2005 were going to be lambs to the slaughter. NZ 2005 vintage for me was the finest team in many years.

One thing we have to remember is that rugby has moved on immensely since 2005. A lions tour tomorrow probably wouldn't look too different in terms of size and entourage, just different players.

I think SCW abilities and experience suit the role perfectly.

Surely if Steele wasn't so fussed about SCW, he should have provided superior alternatives?

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Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 2:10 pm

[quote="AsLongAsBut100ofUs"]
Bazzer79 wrote:I'm here.

the Woodward wagon was well and truly rumbled on the 2005 B&I Lions tour - the man is simply not a panacea and to think otherwise is bordering on the naive imo

Bazzer, I'm not for any minute imagining that SCW is gong to be a panacea for all England's ills.

But he got selected for the 2005 tour management slot. In my opinion he made a car-crash out what could have been a train wreck. Yes he over-selected his English army, but he was a light year ahead of the best of the rest.

What he offers for England is not just the foresight to see the big picture, but the ability to paint it (just like he wanted to do when he was forced to resign on 2004). English rugby is piled to the rafters with vested interests from the clubs to the farts.

SCW and only SCW is the man to take on the likes of Tom and Wheeler, Sugar Daddies and the blazers.

The likes of Jake White could never exert the leverage.

There may be trouble ahead <where's that whistle emoticon?>
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Post by TheGreyGhost Fri 10 Jun 2011, 3:41 pm

I would comment. But someone would accuse me of being anti English.

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Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 3:43 pm

Don't hold back GG.

Just don't wum.
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Post by TheGreyGhost Fri 10 Jun 2011, 3:46 pm

How much money do you reckon they paid him to be in post for a year. Essentially do nothing other than botch a recruitment process and then create an organisational melt down in RWC year?

How exactly do you represent that on a CV? and why on Earth is it that a million probably decent, intelligent, hard working people have been made redundant in Britain during this recession thing, and yet guys like this can make such a hash of such enviable jobs and yet still, and I'll bet my mortgage on it, end up in a new execute post before summer gets going?

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RFU : Steele resigns Empty John Steele leaves the RFU

Post by SB Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:30 pm

Just been said on Sky Sports News that John Steele has left the RFU amidst the mess that has been created by the appointment of a new performance director.

Not a good situation before a World Cup it would seem.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/13723705.stm

EDIT - merged to Portnoy's existing topic - K devil


Last edited by Kiwireddevil on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:33 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : merged to Portnoy's existing topic - K :devil:)
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Post by Bathman_in_London Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:54 pm

this is a real shame, I had thought Steele would be a good fit, a down to earth rugby man to get away from the very financially driven administration previously. ( I should point out that in fact increasing the coffers was both needed and well carried out.)

Will we ever know the full story of what happened? I find it hard to believe that all the mistakes came from 1 man alone. If the changes in the criteria were so bad as to put all (well the only!) candidate off straight away, surely someone at board level should have picked up on it? Will Carlings statement still rings true for me.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 10 Jun 2011, 5:00 pm

red_stag wrote:Portnoy thats an interesting one - where are the English posters?



I would suppose at the time you posted this, Most English posters would be at work.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 10 Jun 2011, 5:03 pm

There is a much bigger picture here than John Steele. Yes, he made a hash of the Performance Director position, and that may have been the straw which broke the camel's back. But this points to much bigger divisions within the RFU. Based upon the numerous reports over the last few years, it seems to me the organisation is clearly struggling to define its roles with the national teams, the processes of developing talent, and the relationships with its members.

To me, this is a positive step. Not because of John Steele, per se, but as this highlights in a very public manner more of the fault lines and disfunctions, and the need to put a strong organisation in place. Since the RFU is already somewhat broken, hopefully this is the first step on the road to get it fixed.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Fri 10 Jun 2011, 5:18 pm

Even the RFU are too bored to comment properly

RFU Board Statement

10 June 2011

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) Board of Directors can confirm that John Steele has left the Union with immediate effect. At the current time there is nothing more we can add while discussions are ongoing and we will update further as we are able.

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Post by Portnoy Fri 10 Jun 2011, 5:29 pm

Seabiscuit, The whole issue of the elephant in the room remains unresolved.

It's got to be a clash between an irresistible force against an immovable object.

Or yet another fudge.



Last edited by Portnoy on Sat 11 Jun 2011, 10:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Adam D Fri 10 Jun 2011, 7:07 pm

just announced by RFU:

RFU chairman Martyn Thomas takes on role of acting CEO following John Steele's departure

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Post by paddy Sat 11 Jun 2011, 4:11 am

I'm afraid the phrase 'couldn't manage a p**s-up in a brewery' spring to mind

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Post by ML Sat 11 Jun 2011, 10:39 am

Martyn Thomas has made non-specific but still highly inflammatory comments to the press about the reasons for the RFU's dismissal of Steele.

This is developing into a chicken up of proportions that previously only the WRU could manage.

Despite the incredibly professional on-field nature of our sport, we really are hampered world wide by the incredibly amateur back office.

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Post by Portnoy Sat 11 Jun 2011, 11:22 am

http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyunion/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rugby/11/06/11/RUGBYU_RFU_Steele.html&BID=504

"John Steele's downfall as Rugby Football Union chief executive was sparked by his decision in March to cancel Sir Clive Woodward's interview for the new performance director position.

Steele was ousted on Friday following a unanimous vote by the management board in response to his handling of the recruitment process for the newly-created England post.

RFU chairman Martyn Thomas claimed the die had already been cast before Steele's controversial attempts to downgrade the job description.

Steele decided, on March 17, to cancel Woodward's interview without discussing it with Thomas or fellow panel member Bill Beaumont.

Had Steele telephoned either of them, Thomas and Beaumont would have at least tried to persuade him to go ahead with the interview.

Instead, Steele sent them an email which neither Thomas nor Beaumont picked up until later in the evening. It was too late by then.

"The interview was cancelled and John made that decision. He was not able to communicate with Bill Beaumont and myself, the other members of the panel," said Thomas.

"We were both not contactable by email. We didn't receive that until late and by the time we received the email, as opposed to the phone call, it was too late to reinstate the interview.

"Looking back on it, with hindsight, that was a defining moment where things were starting to go wrong.

"Whether Clive would have got the job if he had been interviewed is hypothetical but certainly things started to go off track at that point.

"In my view it was the time that things started to go wrong."

Asked whether he would expect his chief executive to call him to discuss such an important issue, Thomas said: "It is very important that the chief executive, the chairman and the board members speak regularly and we were doing so.

"I think we owe a duty to people that have put themselves in that position to follow that process through to its conclusion.

"You only need one applicant that is right, they apply and you appoint them."

After England won the Six Nations, Steele then proposed downgrading the job description of the performance director to remove all direct influence over the national team.

Thomas said Steele never fully explained why he wanted to make the change, particularly given interviews for the post had already been arranged.

The board backed the proposal believing, according to Thomas, that it would only be in place until after this autumn's World Cup before reverting to the original job description.

Within 48 hours it became clear that Steele wanted to permanently cap the performance director's responsibility at Saxons level, the board forced him into a U-turn.

Some senior members of the board realised that a role with a reduced sphere of influence may not interest a high-profile candidate like Woodward.

As it was, Woodward withdrew his candidacy anyway.

A five-man team comprised of Rob Andrew, Richard Hill, Jason Leonard, John Spencer and Beaumont have been tasked with reporting to the board later this month on how other countries use a performance director.
"
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Sat 11 Jun 2011, 12:03 pm

The Guardian reports on the debacle extensively today:
Grauniad 1
Grauniad 2
Grauniad 3
Gruaniad 4
Grauniad 5
Grauniad 6
Grauniad 7

Thomas and Beaumount have not covered themselves in glory

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Post by Shifty Sat 11 Jun 2011, 12:10 pm

I think a lot of you are clutching at straws a bit here.
Woodward is a fantastic organiser and his methods of coaching have basically formed the basis for modern rugby, and he's English. Defence coaches, kicking coaches, forwards, backs coaches the entire format was Woodwards brain child adpoted by both hemispheres.
Why wouldnt Steele try and get him to oversee the English game? It made a lot of sense. Steeles only real error here was to publicly offer Woodward complete power over English rugby then change his mind when Johnson objected. Clearly Steele had a good idea on paper and it seemed practical, but really he should of asked Johnson AND Woodward before going public and making himself look foolish. But on every other issue he has handled English rugby well. Rob Andrew has pretty much been the figure head of the RFU, when things needed to be made public from an administration point of view, Andrew stepped up and used his profile as a player in an RFU admin capacity. Andrew doesnt do that job anymore, so Steele tried to and got it wrong, it doesnt make him incompetent, just inexperianced at dealing with general public and press. Steele is a guy in a suit trying to do a public role he isnt trained for.
The clubs and the Union are working well together, England are improving as a rugby country. For the English press to hound a competent man out of his job for a minor miscalculation is very silly. I think England have made a couple of mistakes and then compound them by making more after it.
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Post by Portnoy Sat 11 Jun 2011, 12:55 pm

A effin' shambles doesn't begin to describe the situation.

I'm still unclear why Steele decided to unilaterally de-scope the performance director's job spec. That to me is the key question which should be answered.

It always looked like SCW was s shoo-in, but it was never going to be an easy ride, but it did look entirely feasible once Baron had cleared his desk.

Machiavellian intrigues indeed. One made worse by requiring the interested parties to relinquish power.
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 11 Jun 2011, 1:16 pm

Pport,

I think we will never really know all the inside dealings and realtionships which have broken down. The only obvious thing is the organization is somewhat broken, more especially at the exec level. Makes it a bit amazing the England squad is still on an upward track and are doing as well as they are. Wonder what will happen when their house is in order?

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Post by Portnoy Sun 12 Jun 2011, 9:01 am

Martyn Thomas is on R5 just after 9 this morning.

Although I suspect waffle and platitudes...
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Sun 12 Jun 2011, 9:14 am

OK, my final word on the subject, having read commentary and 'analysis' in most of the broadsheets - any organisation that chooses to use Stephen Jones of the Sunday Times to represent their case to the public is well overdue for the scrap - my 4-yr old lad knows more about rugby than SJ! How on earth the blazers imagine that SCW will have any interest whatsoever in the grassroots in the game is beyond me - the guy is interested in the elite end of the spectrum and no more. His appointment would imo be a disaster for the game in England mug

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Post by Glas a du Sun 12 Jun 2011, 9:31 am

Portnoys, who knows about this, I mean really. Lord knows I've had many a pop at the W anchors R Us over the years but they haven't gone bust, have improved our domestic rugby with regionalisation (however wrongly it was handled) and overall the period since 98 has been a lot better for our national side than the rest of the 90's were. We have built and paid down a huge debt on a gem of a stadium.

My point is that generally speaking the WRU is considered possibly with the exception of the SRU
as the worst administration about. The RFU are better than us. It is all well and good to have evolution not revolution, but nobody said evolution was always a smooth process. Every now and again there needs to be a shake up.

Also people get short termist in these situations. The current set up with club and country is reaping the rewards of the decisions made in the 90's. Everything was rosy up to 2003 with clubs and country. But I firmly believe that your decision to go it alone with the Courage leagues will one day bite you on the harse. You can change the old darts who are there now, but it was the old farts who were there then, who ditched a century of tradition which was positive, but still retain old ways that are negative, that are to blame for the mess you will get into domestically in the next three years.

A wage cap is fine and dandy but it is dealing with a symptom not the cause and will slowly erode English team's chances of European silverware and the national teams chances. Your only hoe is that the French clubs go bust before yours.

It may not be palatable but you need somebody with the balls to set up an internal regional competition or an overuse to the Celtic league to merge with the jeff to form two conferences north and south with a meaningful playoff akin to the superbowl.

Do that properly and everything else will look after itself.
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Post by Cowshot Sun 12 Jun 2011, 10:00 am

Where are the English posters? A few at any rate have been paying attention to the cricket and only had half an eye on Rugby.

I'm not as inclined as some here to be completely down on the RFU. They've got some things badly wrong - development after WC 2003 for example - but the change to professionalism went better than it might have and the game here is solvent without needing attempts to turn it into basketball.

So I've watched these developments with some surprise. The whole thing had grade 1 f up written all over it from the moment it went public, and I assumed Steele was a goner from the moment I heard some board member denying there was anything special about the upcoming meeting.

Seems some sort of explosion was needed. We've got it.

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RFU : Steele resigns Empty Re: RFU : Steele resigns

Post by doctor_grey Sun 12 Jun 2011, 12:23 pm

You know, after hearing Martyn Thomas, it really cements the degree that the RFU is still stuck between acting like the old time amateur organisation and a modern one. 16 years of pro sport is not enough time to properly raise people in a truly professional environment. And running/managing the RFU (or the IRFU, WRU, SRU, etc.) are 100% professional jobs, with performance measurements in place and P&L responsibilities, as with any venture. In most businesses results are simple: Gross revenue and profit growth. In sport, we have the on-field results and grass roots growth as well. It is complicated and makes it necessary to have seasoned pros at the helm. To oust Steele after a short amount of time due to what appears to be backroom in-fighting, has all the hallmarks of an organization in disarray (amateurs). So, when Cowshot writes: "The whole thing had grade 1 f up written all over it from the moment it went public", I have to agree. The problem most likely started when Steele was hired and both sides had not interviewed each other properly. They could not have had a real understanding of each other, a classic management failure.

This is quite amazing becuase the RFU does turn a profit and does pump funds down the line. This means there are good people doing good jobs there. But, in pockets and at the top, at least, help is needed...............

doctor_grey

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RFU : Steele resigns Empty Re: RFU : Steele resigns

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