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Episode 53 of the Leaders Sport Business Podcast sees David Cushnan and James Emmett discuss the unprecedented number of vacancies at CEO level across key rights holder organisations in UK sport, before handing over to former AELTC and RFU CEO Ian Ritchie for a more informed opinion. Searches are underway for the CEO role at the Premier League, the EFL, the FA, UK Sport, and the BOA among others.
Ritchie ran the Wimbledon tennis championships in his role as CEO of the AELTC from 2005 to 2012, and was then hired to lead the RFU as it built towards the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. He stepped down in 2017, and is now Chairman of Premiership Rugby, the top tier domestic rugby union league in England.
He sat down for a conversation for the podcast on a visit to Qatar, where Ritchie had been sharing his experiences of preparing for major events with a group of local executives involved with preparations for the Fifa World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
On the conversational agenda:
– Qatar’s preparations for 2022 and how Ritchie would handle Fifa as a stakeholder;
– The CVC-Premiership Rugby deal, how it went through, and what it will mean for the league and its teams;
– Pressure moments at the RFU, preparing for England 2015, and the process that led to Head Coach Stuart Lancaster leaving;
– Innovation vs heritage and how Wimbledon gets it right;
– Recruitment, culture, and organisational change.