Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Rugby's Logan to leave after trying season

By Adam McKendry

Ulster Rugby chief executive officer Shane Logan will step down in August after a turbulent year for the province.

In the past year, the club have had to contend with the fallout from a high-profile rape trial involving players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

Both players were acquitted of all charges, but had their contracts revoked following an internal review by the IRFU.

Ulster saw on-pitch performances decline, and had to cope with the departure of coaches Les Kiss and Jono Gibbes.

Logan took over at Ulster in 2010 and immediately declared that he wanted Ulster to become one of the best sides in the world under his direction.

However, in recent seasons the relationship between the CEO and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) appeared to sour, particularly after it was announced that star player Ruan Pienaar would leave the province under instruction from the IRFU.

Logan had come under intense scrutiny over the past year from fans and pundits, and was criticised for a decision to ban news journalists from press conferences towards the end of the season.

"I am very grateful to have had the privilege of being chief executive of Ulster Rugby since 2010," he said in a statement yesterday.

"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.

"In terms of win ratios, the senior Ulster team has become more competitive but I am as disappointed as anybody not to have landed that elusive trophy.

"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. I wish everyone in Ulster the very best for the future."

Paul Terrington, chair of the Ulster Rugby management committee, added: "On behalf of Ulster Rugby I want to thank Shane Logan for his commitment to the club over the past eight years. Shane has made a significant contribution in terms of placing Ulster Rugby on a secure financial footing."

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne also commented: "We thank Shane for his dedication to Ulster Rugby and are sorry to see him go, but wish him all the very best for the future."

Sport, Pages 52&53

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