No go for joint cricket, rugby chief proposal

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 11/06/2014

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The proposed joint chief executive position for South Canterbury rugby and cricket is a dead duck.

South Canterbury Cricket have decided to go their own way, ending a saga that started 18 months ago.

They have had their funding cut by Canterbury Cricket by around 25 per cent, as the major association battles its own financial woes, which is the equivalent of what their contribution to the proposed job was.

South Canterbury Cricket chairman Andrew McRae said to try and justify the job to the membership was a bridge too far.

"I am convinced the idea was sound, so it is disappointing."

Cricket would continue with their acting chief executive, Mark Medlicott, and the board would likely have an increased workload, he said.

Despite cricket pulling out South Canterbury Rugby Union chairman Brent Isbister said they remain committed to the shared leadership model as preference

The union was seeking expressions of interest from other sporting organisations who believe they could also benefit, he said.

Isbister admitted it could be a tough sell but said there were examples where organisations with similar synergies had combined successfully.

"Or it may simply be that they are interested to explore the concept and how it might work for them.

"Leadership, including good planning and implementation, marketing and commercial skills, can make a significant difference to any organisation and the shared services model allows organisations, including the SCRU, to access those skills cost effectively."

Isbister said if they could not find other interested sports they would need to consider "how we can access those skills for ourselves".

"There may well be individuals in our community with the required skills who don't wish to work 40 hours per week, for instance and as an outcome a part-time role would likely work equally as well."

The South Canterbury Rugby Union is understood to still be the only one of 25 unions without a chief executive.

There was someone in the role briefly when Tony Lewis arrived from Sydney to take up the joint role in October.

Lewis lasted less than five weeks, opting to take the top role at the Tasman Rugby Union.

His reason for leaving was he felt South Canterbury Cricket's model could not sustain a chief executive's salary, even split 50-50 with rugby.

Lewis also thought rugby's role was better suited to a full-time position.

His salary package was close to $100,000, divided evenly between the two codes.

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- The Timaru Herald

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