Ambitious Hornets appont new board
The board of directors at Rochdale Hornets are pleased to announce a major coup as 3 new directors will form an executive board to drive the club forward. The move shows the ambition of the Championship club and sends out a clear message of intention to all supporters, members and their rivals.
Rochdale Business Woman of the year, Julie Bowmer, former RFL European Development Director Niel Wood and London based hospitality guru Richard Lamb will join current co-opted director, marketing expert Martin Ballard on the new executive board, which will operate under the guidance of the club’s elected board. Club President Paul Ormerod and Chairman Mark Wynn, elected members, will serve on the board alongside Chief Executive Ryan Bradley.
Julie Bowmer has a record of turning companies into multi-million pound success stories and is currently a director of numerous large scale businesses, including local accountancy firm TBD. Richard Lamb delivered the hugely profitable Rugby League World Cup hospitality and recently led a consortium trying to rescue Super League Bradford Bulls. Lamb is the co-owner of Lucid Hospitality and has a strong pedigree of delivering commercial success in Rugby Union. Martin Ballard was until recently the manager of the clubs main sponsor, The Wheatsheaf Centre and comes with expertise in PR, Marketing and events. Now working as a consultant through his agency Red Cape, Martin’s passion for quality events will be a huge asset. Niel Wood was the first ever rugby league development officer for Rochdale following a career in teaching. Niel rose through the ranks at the RFL to hold the post of European Development Director and has also served as a consultant to Salford Red Devil’s and London Bronco’s in recent times to help them establish following administration.
The Club rules approved when Hornets were re-founded in 2009 make it clear that the Club Board, the one for which members can vote, appoints the Executive Board, and the Executive must report to the Club Board and account for its performance. The Club Board is also responsible for making sure that business is conducted in accordance with the principles of the Club, and with the interests of the community in mind.
So far, the Club board, along with the Chief Executive, has had to carry out both sets of functions. “The fact that we can now separate the two functions, as our rules envisaged, shows the progress which Hornets have made” said Paul Ormerod, Rochdale Hornets Club President. “It is great that we are able to bring such a dynamic group of people on board, and it is a very good sign for the future progress and prosperity of Hornets”
Chief Executive Ryan Bradley added “As a cooperative the club has become a sustainable, community led club and that has led to us gaining promotion, delivering a sell-out world cup fixture and start to put Rochdale Hornets back where we belong- at the heart of the Rochdale community.
It is no secret that we operate with the smallest budget in the division. I believe that we have one of the best young coaches in the game alongside some of the best office and community staff, but a small hardworking team can only take you so far.
As a club we need to kick onto the next level, and we need people with the right expertise to do that.
We don’t want any quick fixes and we don’t want to lose our co-operative ethos. What we want is experts on board who will help the club with its day to day functions and help us grow organically.
We want to be able to give Tol [head coach Ian Talbot] the resources he needs to get us competing towards the top of the Championship.
The directors coming on board are very well respected in their fields and I’m confident they can help us in our goal to be a well-run, community led, flagship Championship club”
The additions come as part of the Structure Review which the club is undertaking as it looks to set out a three year growth and sustainability strategy which will be presented to the membership at the clubs AGM ahead of full implementation from November.
Club Chairman Mark Wynn commented “The last review and strategy we completed 2 years ago and it gave us the guidance we needed to steady the ship off the field and we achieved the success on the field.
Our partner club, St Helens, have been a fantastic support to us and driven forward the club’s ambition. I have spoken at length at members meeting about how the partnership is more than just the players we get loaned and being partnered with a World Class club has opened our eyes to how we need to operate.
It is frustrating to us as a board, as well as fans, to only be able to offer the smallest budget in the division, and to only work with certain businesses in the town, and to only engage with certain communities.
We want to be ambitious, the best we can be. We don’t want to be the club that gets promoted one season and relegated the next, we want to be competing in the middle twelve of the new structure, and that is what we are working toward.
It may take time and it will definitely take expertise and with the new executive board and St Helens as our partner club we are in a firm position to deliver success”
Full profiles on each of the new directors will be added to the Rochdale Hornets website and we hope to hold a formal question and answer session at the next members meeting in August.