Statement from Chairman Neil Hudgell

Category: The Club

Statement from Chairman Neil Hudgell

As you are aware I will be relinquishing my position as Chairman at the end of November and the search for potential new ownership/investment will shortly begin. When I made my announcement in late August I fully envisaged the process will take time. Therefore I’m relaxed in the knowledge that the necessary research work has now been undertaken and we will proceed to the next stage, of what may well be a 12 month process.

I owe it to you our magnificent supporters and for the long term viability of this great club to ensure any interested parties are absolutely the right people to take the club forward.

I do want to be very clear though, I won’t simply walk away and undo so much good work happening behind the scenes. From Youth Development where we are seeing green shoots, to our Community programmes which serve the people of East Hull and beyond so well. On the field we are starting to play an attacking style of Rugby we can be proud of, in Head Coach Tony Smith we have a coach who will progress the squad with time and patience to where we all aspire to be.

Plans for 2021 and beyond, across the club, will continue to progress giving supporters clarity and comfort about the future. It’s important to me that we repay the faith you have in us by being clear on the future direction and ambitions of the club before we announce plans for 2021 memberships. Your support throughout 2020 has been nothing short of sensational, 97% of our members are backing us no matter what. You continue to inspire me.


I will be stepping back from the day to day leadership of the club, yet I want us to grow stronger than we’ve ever been, so it is with this in mind that I am delighted to announce from November 1st Paul Lakin will be appointed as our new Chief Executive. Paul will take full control of the club both on and off the field, he’s someone who I have great trust in and I am excited by his return.

Some of you may remember Paul from his time at the club at the start of our Super League journey. Since his departure in 2008 he has worked in football across the Premier League and Championship and will bring a wealth of knowledge and business acumen to the club. He has great knowledge of our City, our club, our fanbase and the wider sport in general – all of which will prove invaluable as he leads the club forward into 2021, a year that is widely recognised across our sport to have choppy waters ahead.


This of course means our current CEO Mike Smith will be stepping aside, Mike originally planned to step down in May this year but has stayed on to steady the ship during unprecedented times. I am delighted to confirm Mike will remain at the club to head up our Community Trust. His vast experience will be vital in ensuring a smooth transition for Paul, but also as our key link between the club and local community. I’d like to place on record my sincere thanks to Mike. He is red and white through and through and has always been a rock for me over the last 10 years. 

It just leaves me to say, I cannot wait to see you all again at a packed Hull College Craven Park next year, whether that is as the owner or simply the supporter that I’ve always been. After a difficult year for us all, it will be a special and emotional moment for sure.

Until then, thank you for your support, stay safe and up the Robins!

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