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Following Ian Ritchie’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Rugby Football Union, it is confirmed that he will leave the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and take up the RFU role on February 27, 2012. Ritchie also stands down as the Independent Non-Executive Director of The Football League and from the Board of Wembley Stadium.
RFU Chairman Paul Murphy said: “We are very pleased that Ian can join so soon. It is well acknowledged that he has a fantastic reputation and the RFU will quickly benefit. His appointment has been exceptionally well received around the game and I know the staff cannot wait to work with him.”
Ritchie said: “I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with new colleagues and partners at the RFU. There is much to be positive about, seeing a new generation of players emerge in the RBS 6 Nations and seizing the unique chance to grow the game when hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015 is very exciting.
“Joining the RFU as CEO was an irresistible opportunity. It was a very difficult decision to leave the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club but I know they have a fantastic team and I wish them continued success for the future.”
Ritchie was appointed to The Football League Board in April 2004, in a ground-breaking move that saw him become the first independent Non-Executive Director of a domestic football governing body. He is the only person to have held the position to date. Ian joined the Wembley Stadium Board in July 2008 during the new stadium’s second year of operation. He stood down in December following his RFU appointment.
Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: “I would like to thank Ian for the outstanding contribution he has made to The Football League during the last seven and a half years.
“When it created this role, The Football League was looking for somebody to bring greater levels of independence, continuity and insight to its decision-making process. Ian has delivered in every way. On behalf of our clubs, I would like to wish him every success in his new job at the RFU.”
Wembley Stadium Chairman Melvin Benn said: “On behalf of the Board at Wembley I must pay tribute to Ian for the invaluable contribution that he has made to the success of the new Wembley Stadium during his time with us. We wish him well as CEO at the RFU.”
Ritchie said: “It has been a real pleasure and an honour serving on the Board of The Football League and at Wembley. I wish them both every good fortune in the future and look forward to keeping a sporting connection.”