The Connacht Professonal Games Board hopes to have some input into the province’s new CEO following the unexpected resignation of Tom Sears.
Sears’s decision to leave the post after 15 months ago was immediate, and as of 1pm yesterday the IRFU’s director of corporate affairs, Kevin Potts, has been installed as the interim CEO.
PGB member Simon Heaslip says the board is happy with Potts’ temporary appointment, but is eager to ensure a replacement for Sears is in situ quickly.
“The CEO is an IRFU appointment and their decision, but we will be pushing for a new CEO as soon as possible. We are happy for the time being with Kevein Potts, but obviously he has other commitments to the IRFU.”
Potts is expected to work out of the Sportsground two days a week until a replacement is found, and Heaslip expects the PGB will have a representative on the appointment committee. On the previous occasion both the Connacht branch president and PGB chairperson Jimmy Staunton joined Phillip Browne in the selection process.
Sears’ resignation came in the wake of a leak that Connacht has a €400,000 budget deficit, but his decision was for personal reasons.
“After careful consideration, I have taken the decision to leave Connacht for my own reasons. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and hope the province continues to go from strength to strength."
On his appointment Sears said his move was “long term” - enabling him to move closer to his three children in Worcester and “an opportunity to build something really quite special” in Connacht Rugby. However it is believed he never settled well into the west of Ireland. Initially he and his partner lived near Moate and he commuted daily to the Galway Sportsground, but more recently he had moved to Gort.