Former RFL chief executive Maurice Lindsay has backed new SLE chief executive Rob Elstone to restore the glitter of Super League, although Lindsay has warned the clubs and the RFL that the former Everton FC CEO must be given the tools to do the job properly.
Elstone began in his new role at the beginning of the month, and Lindsay has revealed that some key figures in the football world would have liked Elstone to be a candidate to become the new chief executive of the FA Premier League, after Richard Scudamore, the current CEO, announced last week that he would retire at the end of this year.
“Robert could have walked into Richard Scudamore’s job,” Lindsay, told League Express.
“Robert was always a voice of sanity in FA Premier League meetings. He would have been experienced and talented enough to do that job, but it’s his obstinate love of Rugby League that has brought him back into our game.
“He really is exactly what Super League and what the game needs.”
But Lindsay insists that Elstone won’t be able to restore Super League by himself.
“Robert has a massive agenda ahead of him, but he can’t do it on his own,” said Lindsay.
“My concern is that he might not have a support team.
“He won’t be right every time. But he has to be given his head, a budget and a task force.
“When I ran Super League we had finances allocated to us by the clubs in the Super League. They allowed us to use some of the TV money to form a small administration.
“You can’t have a development system with someone like Robert Elstone without a support system.
“Since Super League was formed the TV riches have improved several fold, but if that is going to continue the game has to invest in its top product.
“Without doing so, sadly the expectations may be too high.
“Unfortunately there is much that is wrong with the game at the moment. We have gone backwards in many areas.
“We need to grow the audience and there are many reasons why it hasn’t happened.
“But it’s true to say that as a governing body we just haven’t performed. Other sports are overtaking us.
“To make the appointment a success everybody in Super League has to have the same ambition and desire and only if everyone is rowing in the same direction will it work.
“We need all twelve clubs to be determined and buy into his project.
“And then we will see some positive results.”