Fans would have told you that it was a long time coming, and that the person had to be right for the role – with the Parramatta Eels appointing a new CEO for their football club, one Ken Edwards.
Edwards, who has formerly been Managing Director and CEO at the Stadium Australia Group, and most recently the Executive Chairman at the Hunter Sports Group, comes with great experience – with Eels Chairman Roy Spagnolo pleased to have Edwards on board in the role.
â€œThe appointment of Ken Edwards is a significant coup for the Club,â€ Eels Chairman Roy Spagnolo said tonight.
â€œUnder Ken, the Football Club will aim to aggressively grow Eels memberships and sponsorship, while Ricky works on returning the NRL team to Premiership challengers.â€
Bob Bentley, the man who was in charge of both the CEO job for the football club and the Leagues club, will now continue his role as the Leagues club CEO – as he received praise from Spagnolo, for the work he did as the dual CEO for a short period of time.
â€œThe Leagues Clubâ€™s position of strength is in no small part thanks to the guidance of Bob Bentley, who has done an outstanding job in the dual role this year.â€
With the Eels keen to once again enjoy success both on and off the field, Bentley said that the appointment of Edwards to the role was a crucial component for the club moving forward.
â€œThe Eels are at the epicentre of one of the fastest growing popula
tions and economies in Australia. Weâ€™re in the middle of the 6th largest CBD in the country, sitting within a Greater Western Sydney population of more than 2 million people,” said Bentley.
â€œWe aim to become an even bigger part of this community and tonightâ€™s announcement is another step in that process.
â€œIt is without doubt one of the most exciting times in the Clubâ€™s history to be an Eels supporter.â€
For Edwards himself, it was the chance to work with new coach Ricky Stuart, that lured him to the position.
“Ricky was one of the key factors,” Edwards said.
“He is on board with Parramatta, he's fired up and ready to go.
“Ricky is one of the best coaches around and we are very lucky to have him at Parramatta.
“I am really looking forward to working with Ricky.”
Edwards is also keen to bring in a fresh and vibrant approach at the club, to get them back to where they should be.
“The Eels are in the demographic heart of Sydney,” Edwards said. “There are two million people in the area.
“There is a lot of upside in all areas, on the field and off it.
“Parramatta had conducted a range of strategic reviews to make sure Ricky gets everything he needs and to have the best outcome for the players.”
As part of his new role, one that he has already started, Edwards said that he is working on the “commercial” aspects at the club.
“We need to be driving bigger membership numbers and looking to bring in new sponsors while serving the existing sponsors,” he said.
“It is an all-encompassing role.”