Chief Executive Officer

Ref: 6082

Rugby Football League

Etihad Campus, Manchester

Role Managed by:

Grace Fakes

Research Associate

t: 020 7340 6221


Primary Practice Group: Arts, Culture and Sports

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 30/10/2022

This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) is the governing body for the Sport of Rugby League in England. We are looking to appoint a new CEO to join us at a truly exciting time in our sport, amid a transformation in how Rugby League is governed. The next CEO of the RFL will have an opportunity to build on our achievements as an organisation, capitalise on the foundations for success already established, navigate us through a fast-changing socio-political climate and will drive the organisation forward as a high performing national governing body.

We believe that Rugby League is more than a sport. It is a cultural identity, a passion, a way of life and a practical force for good in communities. Its history is one of determination to succeed against the odds, to fight discrimination and intolerance and to be an honest and authentic sport, which cares enough to make a difference to its fans, their families, and communities. Since 1895, we have delivered a sport that delights fans across the country. We are proud of who we are, the value we add to sport and society, and the difference we make, together.

Rugby League has recently agreed a new corporate strategy and undergone a significant governance restructure, which includes the creation of a new entity, RL Commercial. The realignment enables the focus of the newly structured RFL to be on developing and growing the grassroots game, driving participation, performance of the England teams and independently regulating the sport.

This realignment is unique amongst its peers and presents an extremely exciting time to join as CEO. Having also announced a long-term strategic partnership with a global leader in the sports and entertainment industry, the sport is now poised to take advantage of an array of exciting opportunities, including the long-awaited World Cup Tournament in the UK in October and November 2022.

The successful candidate will lead on the strategic development of Rugby League and the RFL executive team’s delivery of value to a range of stakeholders. They will have ultimate financial and staffing responsibility for the RFL, managing these areas to ensure the RFL is operating at its optimal levels. The next CEO will be the public face of the RFL and be responsible to the Non-Executive Chair and the Board of Non-Executive Directors for all aspects of the RFL’s operations and activities.

We are looking for our next CEO to have a demonstrable track record of leadership in senior management positions, managing and motivating a talented team, as well as creating and embedding a culture of high performance throughout an organisation. They will be an inclusive leader equipped with financial and commercial acumen, strong stakeholder management and relationship building skills, excellent communication skills, and the ability to advocate for the RFL at the highest levels.

Candidates wishing to apply should submit a CV (including comprehensive details of key achievements and responsibilities) along with a covering letter which fully addresses the competencies outlined in the role description and person specification.

The closing date for applications is 9am (GMT) on Monday 31st October 2022. 

The RFL will be supported in this appointment by executive search firm Perrett Laver. Any initial enquiries should be directed to Grace Fakes on +44 (0)20 7340 6221 or


For a conversation in confidence, please contact Grace Fakes on +44 (0)20 7340 6221 or

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Perrett Laver believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. A broad range of perspectives, backgrounds and opinions amongst our global community of colleagues is crucial in maintaining our culture of openness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity. We take an active role in supporting under-represented communities and groups in becoming better and more fairly represented in the leadership of all organisations. We also know that diverse and inclusive teams have a positive impact on our ability to identify, engage and secure candidates from these groups.

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This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.