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Robert Elstone


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10 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

He was trying to improve the commercial aspect of Super League by doing the very long-term things I talked about, but they are just that - long term.

His remit was Super League, not the RFL and the whole sport - that was what the clubs wanted and tasked him with focusing on. 

If the club owners never believed in him, why did 11 out of 12 ratify his appointment? 

I wasn't a fan of Elstone, for all I'm defending his tenure in this thread, but he was appointed to solve a problem that the clubs didn't seem to understand, and to do a job that suited them because it deflected attention from their own respective failures. Then they acted surprised when Elstone tried to point out what the problem really was. 

He was there for nearly 3 years. I understand that's not long term but it is long enough to start seeing what he offered. Senior executives are paid a lot of money for a reason - because they are supposed to bring success!

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17 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

He was there for nearly 3 years. I understand that's not long term but it is long enough to start seeing what he offered. Senior executives are paid a lot of money for a reason - because they are supposed to bring success!

We probably could have got a younger more ambitious person for half of Elstones wages and they would have been more successful as they would have used the opportunity to further their career.

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I was hoping to file this guy's name alongside Marwan Koukash and Des Johnston's as a name I'd never have to read on here again.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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3 hours ago, Angelic Cynic said:

He was brilliant.He should be replaced.Lenagan and Moran should pay his salary.

Super League is in a great place - that is why they need government loans and the money League 1 clubs should have.

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/ian-lenagan-robert-elstone-success-4988674

Again, bad examples. Needing government funding during a pandemic is not a thing to bash Elstone for. 

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3 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

 

 

As these posts all pretty much carry the same sentiment, I'll clarify my points in one. 

I'll preface this by saying that I think Elstone was brought in as the wrong answer to the wrong question. But that isn't his fault. That's the fault of 11 of the 12 SL club owners at the time, and 11 people who still have their respective jobs and level of influence. 

The issue with the TV deal was that people saw the current TV (and the current commercial) deals as a failure of salesmanship (that we didn't push Sky hard enough). Ian Lenagan was on record as saying that, even though he voted for it, he didn't agree with the deal because he thought it was too hastily signed. Elstone was therefore brought in to "sell it harder" when the issue was not really that the rights weren't sold hard enough - it was that they weren't valuable enough to generate a competitive auction. 

I think Elstone understood that point. I think he realised that if he was going to make the TV rights and commercial rights more valuable, he needed to enhance the image of the sport, to get more people watching it and to change the demographics of the people watching it. I think he also understood that the real 'currency' that the sport had to offer was content, and that is should have the mindset of a media property - not a collective of businesses each trying to sell tickets and worrying about "away fans". However, it was never something that he was going to solve in two short years - even if COVID hadn't happened. 

That's why I think that he, at the very least, tried to do the right things and take the sport in the right direction. He focused a lot on the league's image, he focused on content and storytelling and he focused on making the game more exciting to the casual viewer. 

But he was hamstrung by people who didn't get that, and people who couldn't understand or accept that these very necessary steps were very much long-term projects. He was trying to convince people whom, for all their time in RL, their focus was on the short-term - for keeping the lights on for another year, for keeping the tax man away for another year, for hitting this year's season ticket target and for wondering how many away fans were turning up. He was always going to face an uphill battle against that short-term mentality. 

Where Elstone got it wrong, as I mentioned, was with Toronto. His handling of that was poor (although he had no involvement in the decision to promote Leigh, IIRC) and did a lot of damage to the league's reputation as a forward-thinking, growing competition. 

History will show that Elstone didn't succeed in what he tried to do, but there's no question in my mind that he at least tried to drag the sport kicking and screaming into the right place - and it has made no more progress since his departure to get there. 

A far more intelligent version of my sarcy post 😄

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15 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

He was there for nearly 3 years. I understand that's not long term but it is long enough to start seeing what he offered. Senior executives are paid a lot of money for a reason - because they are supposed to bring success!

He was never given a chance the 'Fun Boy Three' who hired him saw to that!

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10 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Be honest, apart from his Salary, could any of you have worked for that bunch of Chairmen who introduced him?

We may have been 10 hours apart with our posts Gooley, and you beat me to it, butch I imagine he resigned out of frustration, I would love to see/read of his time expressed in his own words of his time in his position, but then again I expect he had to sign an NDA before leaving.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

Do you think a senior executive earning £400k should have the nous to be able to negotiate challenging stakeholders? 

Yes a senior executive earning 400k should be able to negotiate with challenging stakeholders ….. but if the people that are supposed to be on your side I.e. club chairmen aren’t prepared to listen and support a long term vision then to put it bluntly you are stuffed.

Edited by Adelaide Tiger
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The people tying his hands behind his back were his board. He answers to them. 

And it is a little small time for fans to complain about spending money on things like his salary and his team - to deliver change it costs money, you just sound like Nigel Wood and some of his penny pinching. 

The governance model was the biggest issue by miles. Like I say, no real fan of Elstone, I found him uninspiring and quite negative for a leader, but I'm not sure anybody would have succeeded in that role. 

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2 minutes ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

I could name you a few SL clubs where the CEO is a glorified office manager and the owner calls all the shots.

P

Yes, this is a problem. CEO is a really crucial role and no way are some if these CEO's. 

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19 hours ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Daddy the Dragons had been paying for the TV since 2006.

P

I seem to recall that BeIN was paying a modest fee for the rights but Elstone wanted more and that's when they said they wouldn't pay.

19 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

He failed largely because he was hamstrung by the clubs. Clubs that sent him into TV negotiations with a poor hand, because they'd failed to spend time strengthening it (simply pointing to "bouyant viewing figures" isn't enough"). Clubs that voted down ideas that arguably would have progressed the sport. Clubs that were only interested in ideas that were cheap to implement and short-term in scope. Nobody, I don't care whether they're Eddie Hearn or Steve Jobs, could have succeeded in that environment.

This is why I've said that only a whole new built-for-purpose organization not connected with those current clubs could possibly turn things around.

 

19 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

Improving the commercial aspect of the sport, unifying the clubs, rebranding, negotiating with stakeholders, building relationships, working with the RFL to strengthen the whole sport. I could go on and on. He was hamstrung because he wasn't up to the job. The club owners never believed in him, but importantly neither did other important stakeholders. 

If "the club owners never believed in him" why did they appoint him in the first place then?

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Ultimately, Elstone goes down as a failure - not least for the private equity debacle.

Yet it ought to be stated that Covid struck roughly 18 months into his time and we’ll never know if he would’ve secured a better Sky TV deal (or other commercial deals) than the peanuts agreed after his departure. My feeling is Sky took advantage of Covid a little bit by cutting it 40%. 

Edited by Man of Kent
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On 01/10/2021 at 21:13, Dave T said:

Again, bad examples. Needing government funding during a pandemic is not a thing to bash Elstone for. 

It was more aimed at the owner of Wigan who introduced Elstone. 

Wigan have taken some of the loan.

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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I think there are elements of truth to most of the arguements above. 

The 3 clowns that brought him in wanted a salesman, but hired an accountant. 🤔 Why?

It's like hiring a carpet fitter to do your plumbing.

What qualifies laughing boy Rimmer to be in charge of the RFL? Was the post advertised when Wood left? It seemed like he was just wafted in to the role by SL chairman who wanted to keep the status quo and remain unchallenged making all the decisions, but having luxury of not being accountable for the consequences when things go wrong. 

It's almost a perfect system, if you forget about the fact they have all but killed the game with their blinkered, self interested views. 

Sadly, the only way I can see things changing is for SL to relinquish control, and the only way that will happen, is if most of the club's go to the wall and the games starts again from scratch.

 

 

 

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