Jon Wilkin concerned that new RFL CEO could have “a naïve eye”

Tony Sutton has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Rugby Football League.

The 49 year-old has been acting as interim CEO for the last three months following the departure of Ralph Rimmer in December.

Originally from Kingston Upon Hull, he has been with the RFL since January 2017 when he was appointed Director of Finance and Facilities, becoming Chief Operating Officer two years later.

He joined the RFL from the Hull College Group, where he had been Chief Operating Officer, and before that he worked for 13 years at Hull FC in a range of roles including Financial Controller, Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer.

He will become an executive member of the RFL Board, joining the Non-Executive Directors Sandy Lindsay MBE, Dr Rimla Akhtar OBE, Dr Cherrie Daley and Simon Johnson, the Chair.

Following this news Jon Wilkin gave his opinion on the matter in Sky Sports expressing a concern that because Sutton is pointed within he may not have the outside eye the game needs to move forward suggesting he could be “naïve.”

“Well I think his biggest challenge might be the fact he has been promoted from within.

“He started at Hull FC and then has been interim CEO of the RFL and now has taken the job permanently and when you appoint someone from within, they might have a naïve eye to see things differently to before.

“I think his biggest challenge is thinking differently and doing things differently. He needs to do that despite the bias of seeing how things have already been done.”

He did say he thinks he has a massive opportunity:

“On the back of the World Cup he has a massive opportunity with IMG involved and all of these things, he has a big job on.

“Trying to think differently could be his biggest challenge.”

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