The Penrith Panthers Need A CEO

No doubt you have all read about the blowup this week by Phil Gould after some squiggles he wrote on a piece of paper at a recent meeting between all NRL club CEO’s and Chairman was “leaked” to the media.

Gould felt like it was a personal attack on him by “someone” at the NRL who is out to get him because of the criticism he has leveled at the NRL and its CEO David Gallop over the years.

He wrote a scathing e-mail to David Gallop which he also sent to every single CEO in the NRL as well. Gallop handled it well and eventually it died a natural death when Gallop, in a very professional manner, told Gould to settle the fuck down.

It was all a bit ridiculous when the real story out of all of it was the fact the chief Rugby League writer at the Daily Telegraph actually thought some squiggles on a page was a newsworthy story.

Fucking ridiculous on all accounts…

When the NRL club CEO’s and Chairmen held their meeting in Sydney, it was a chin wag session that was needed, but where nothing was really agreed to. It was basically just a chance for everyone to get together and talk about the general direction they wanted to push the league in, throw a few idea’s around and talk about what they wanted out of the next broadcasting deal.

At the time, Penrith was in a bit of a weird position in that Gould had taken over as the Panthers “General Manager”, but the club did not have a CEO.

Phil Gould’s job at Penrith is all about football. He’s not there to run a business, he is there to rebuild a football club. Now the NRL is a business, and you need business types to run clubs these days because without money, the football side of the operation suffers.

With all that in mind, surely it is time for the Penrith Panthers to appoint a CEO to run the business side of the football club.

Now, there was some talk that the Panthers would appoint Greg Alexander as the clubs CEO’s. Like all Panthers fan, Brandy is part of the family. The most popular Panthers player of all time, easily!

What Penrith needs is a business mind who can push the financial side of the club forward. They need someone with business experience. They don’t need top take a step backwards and appoint a football figurehead who hasn’t got the ability to run a multi million dollar a year business.

The days of an old football head running a club are long gone. They should never return.

I often joke with people that it must be a good laugh when there is an NRL club CEO’s meeting and they all ask Newcastle Knights CEO Matthew Gidley to go out and get them some coffee.

Penrith needs a CEO is charge that is not just a figure head. They need someone who can mix it up with the best in the business, because quite honestly, with the position Penrith find themselves in financially, that is what they need!

I don’t really care who it is. I haven’t go a name in my head or someone who I prefer to take on the job. All I know is that I want a real CEO, someone who knows what the job requires and someone who has the business background to do the job effectively.

Everyone knows Phil Gould is in charge of the Penrith Panthers Rugby League club. That won’t change. To do his job effectively though he needs to be able to focus 100% on the football side of things and coordinate that with a CEO who is 100% focused on the business side of things.

I look at the way the Panthers have been turned around in recent months, and honestly, it is far beyond my expectations.

We got rid of the old CEO and coach, who were both bloody useless. We’ve appointed Ivan Cleary for next season who is the perfect coach to take over a club with good talent and a huge junior talent base.

The club has put a new level of discipline in place and have had no hesitation in fining even the best player at the club. As a long suffering Panthers fan, all these things are fantastic!

Without a CEO appointed though, it feels like we only have half a football club in place.

When the NRL club CEO’s and Chairmen meeting was held, my first thought was “We don’t have a CEO!”. Phil Gould is in charge of the football side of things at Penrith and as such, there wasn’t really any great overriding reason for him to be there at that meeting.

The beat up in the Sydney Daily Telegraph was pathetic and a symptom of the papers plummeting standards in covering the real issues in the game. The response by Gould to attack the NRL CEO was ridiculous and embarrassing for everyone involved.

The thing that got lost in all of this was that the Penrith Panthers don’t currently have a CEO, and we need one.

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