London Irish have appointed a new non-executive chairman in an attempt to refresh board governance.
London Irish have appointed Allan Robson as their new non-executive chairman. He is taking the role in an unpaid capacity with immediate effect, having previously retired in 2017.
Robson's appointment has been made by Irish in an effort to lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable success following on from the work of Brian Facer as Chief Executive in late 2017, Declan Kidney as a technical consultant and Les Kiss as head coach in March 2018.
The bulk of Robson's career rich in experience across both football and rugby came with Northampton Saints, where he was Chief Executive for a decade between 2007 and 2017.
During his time with Saints, he oversaw a hugely successful period for the club. Northampton won a Premiership title in 2014, reached the Premiership final in 2013 and the Heineken Cup final in 2011 under Robson. Northampton also won multiple European Challenge Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup titles during this period.
Off the pitch Saints also set the benchmark within the Aviva Premiership for commercial success, recording profits for 17 successive years. In 2015 Robson oversaw a multi-million-pound expansion of Franklin’s Gardens that consolidated the stadium as the envy of clubs across Europe.
Robson was also a board director of Premiership Rugby for 10 years and sat on a number of committees, including six years on the salary cap committee.
Mick Crossan, London Irish's president, said Robson's experience will undoubtedly prove invaluable to the exiles future.
“While Allan was at Northampton they set the standards for the rest of the league in every area of their operations,” said Crossan.
“On the pitch they were very successful, winning several trophies and bringing through some outstanding players. They also showed that you can balance success on the pitch with commercial results and profitability.
“These are our ambitions at London Irish and we are committed to building up the club for a new future that will see us compete consistently for silverware, while also being profitable.
“Allan’s know-how and experience will be crucial in helping us achieve this, and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to the board of directors.”
Since retiring from Saints at the end of May 2017, Robson has taken on non-executive directorships with British Handball and Taekwondo Events, and he says that he was delighted to get the call from London Irish.
“London Irish have always been a great club and I had no hesitation in joining the board of directors when I got the call from Mick Crossan,” said Robson.
“It is an exciting time to be joining the club, with a new coaching team led by Declan Kidney and Les Kiss to put together a strong team on the pitch, and promising commercial plans to build on the strong London Irish brand and make sure that the club is sustainable over the long-term.
“There is an outstanding group of staff, and the supporters are second-to-none, and I believe that everything is in place for London Irish to succeed.”