With several key off-field issues to address as a club, the Parramatta Eels have completed the first part of the process, appointing Bernie Gurr as their new CEO.
The move was confirmed today by Chairman Max Donnelly, with Gurr to take over the CEO mantle for the next three seasons.
Finishing university with a degree in business, Gurr worked at Ernst & Young for a while before moving into the role of Financial Director for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Following that role, Gurr returned to Australia and became the CEO of the Sydney Roosters, a club he also played for.
After 9 seasons as Roosters CEO, he returned to the US where he has been an Executive with the Crown Worldwide Group.
In what has been a tumultuous year for the Eels, it is finishing on a high and Donnelly says the addition of Gurr to the CEO role is a tremendous step forward for the club.
â€œFollowing my appointment in July, I made it clear we needed a strong and experienced CEO to accelerate the rebuilding of the Football Club,” Donnelly said.
â€œBernie emerged as the best choice because of his proven financial and leadership experience both in business and in sports administration.
â€œHe also displayed throughout the process a passion and strategic vision to transform our Club and take it forward in a positive way.
â€œTogether with his professional values, Bernie will bring enormous credibility with our stakeholders and I am sure he will develop a strong relationship with our members and supporters.”
As an outsider looking in, Gurr has been pleased with the resolve that the club has shown and of the decisions made and looks forward to stepping into the role.
“It is a privilege to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Parramatta National Rugby League Club.
â€œThe Parramatta Eels are poised for an outstanding future, with a large and passionate supporter base, a great junior league, financial sustainability and, from 2019, the absolute best Club stadium in Australia located in the geographic heart of Sydney.
“Observing from the outside, the Parramatta Football Program is headed in the right direction.
â€œThe resilience and competitiveness demonstrated throughout an extremely demanding 2016 season is a tribute to Head Coach, Brad Arthur, and his players,â€ Mr Gurr said.
Gurr will officially start in the role in late October.