Hull KR chief executive stands down

Hull Kingston Rovers chief executive Mike Smith has stepped down from the role.

Smith, 57, cited the need for a fresh approach and personal reasons for moving on, with his work at the club due to finish in May.

He took the role ten years ago, and reflecting on his time at the club he said: “I’m incredibly proud of how the club has developed over the 10 years I have been in the role, particularly off the field, given the development of the North Stand, the success we have in hosting large events such as concerts and boxing and the numbers of members we now have backing the club.

“We’ve made great strides and achieved things many thought would never happen, such as attracting international rugby, and all of these things have helped put the club on a much more solid footing.

“Of course, I’d have loved to have seen us establish ourselves as a top-four Super League club, but that just hasn’t happened despite so much dedication and hard work.

“I think as a club we have always had our ups and downs, and that has been evidenced in the last three or four seasons alone.

“Getting to Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final was an obvious high in 2015, but of course that ended with that incredible low feeling of suffering such a heavy loss in the final. That tells you plenty about life at KR – you have to be prepared for everything that can be thrown at you.

“When I was unwell a couple of years ago, I did begin to think that I couldn’t do this job forever, and during that time Neil Hudgell was brilliant and so supportive.

“I said to Neil a couple of years ago that it would be my last, but then I agreed to stay on. It is so hard to walk away from something you love.

“However, myself and Neil have sat and discussed what’s best for me and the club in the long term and I think we both feel this is now the best for both parties. It needs a fresh approach.”