London Irish have today announced that Allan Robson is joining the club’s board of directors as its new non-executive chairman.
The appointment is the latest to be made by London Irish as it lays the groundwork for long-term sustainable success following on from that of Brian Facer as chief executive in late 2017, Declan Kidney as technical consultant and Les Kiss as head coach in March 2018.
Robson brings a wealth of experience to London Irish gathered from nearly three decades of working within professional football and rugby union. The bulk of his career in the sector was spent at Northampton Saints where he was chief executive between 2007 and 2017, the club’s most successful period both on and off the pitch.
During this time, Saints won the Aviva Premiership title in 2014, reached the 2013 Aviva Premiership and 2011 Heineken Cup finals, and won multiple European Rugby Challenge Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup titles.
Off the pitch Saints also set the benchmark within the Aviva Premiership for commercial success, recording profits for 17 successive years. In 2015 Robson oversaw a multi-million-pound expansion of Franklin’s Gardens that consolidated the stadium as the envy of clubs across Europe.
Robson was also a board director of Premiership Rugby for 10 years and sat on a number of committees, including six years on the salary cap committee.
London Irish president Mick Crossan said that Robson’s knowledge and experience will be crucial as the Exiles set their eyes on a new future.
“While Allan was at Northampton they set the standards for the rest of the league in every area of their operations,” said Crossan.
“On the pitch they were very successful, winning several trophies and bringing through some outstanding players. They also showed that you can balance success on the pitch with commercial results and profitability.
“These are our ambitions at London Irish and we are committed to building up the club for a new future that will see us compete consistently for silverware, while also being profitable.
“Allan’s know-how and experience will be crucial in helping us achieve this, and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to the board of directors.”
Since retiring from Saints at the end of May 2017, Robson has taken on non-executive directorships with British Handball and Taekwondo Events, and he says that he was delighted to get the call from London Irish.
“London Irish have always been a great club and I had no hesitation in joining the board of directors when I got the call from Mick Crossan,” said Robson.
“It is an exciting time to be joining the club, with a new coaching team led by Declan Kidney and Les Kiss to put together a strong team on the pitch, and promising commercial plans to build on the strong London Irish brand and make sure that the club is sustainable over the long-term.
“There is an outstanding group of staff, and the supporters are second-to-none, and I believe that everything is in place for London Irish to succeed.”
Robson will take up his unpaid position as non-executive chairman with immediate effect.