ULSTER: Search starts for new rugby CEO as Shane Logan confirms exit

Shane Logan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Shane Logan. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Ulster Rugby will use the summer recess to search for a new Chief Executive Officer after Shane Logan confirmed yesterday he would vacate the position in August.

There had been speculation in recent weeks it would be a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Logan - who was appointed in 2010 - would step down from the position.

And while the decision may not have come as a shock, it did follow an interview in the News Letter during which Logan said his position at Kingspan Stadium was not in question.

In a statement released by Ulster Rugby yesterday afternoon, Logan said “...the time is right to move on”.

The Province went through a turbulent season on and off the pitch.

During a campaign, overshadowed by the trial, and ultimate acquittal, of international stars Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, the pair had their IRFU contracts revoked following a review after controversy about social media messages they exchanged emerged during the trial.

On the field, Ulster struggled to find consistency, failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the European Champions Cup again and also failed for the second successive year to reach the PRO14 Championship play-offs - indeed only qualifying for the Champions Cup after a play-off.

First director of rugby, Les Kiss left by mutual consent with the club and then head coach, Jono Gibbes was released from his contract a year early to return home for family reasons.

While Logan leaves Ulster with a solid legacy in a new stadium and in a strong financial position, fans, in particular Season Ticket Holders, were unhappy with Logan’s apparent refusal to meet with them.

Logan said: “I am very grateful to have had the privilege of being Chief Executive of Ulster Rugby since 2010.

“We have been able to build a fine stadium, repay our debts, deliver consistent profit and strong commercial growth. This is now allowing us to invest in our clubs, schools and very significantly in our Academy.

“There have been some significant challenges in recent years. I hope that the unity with which everyone in Ulster faced these will endure for generations.