Elstone leaves Everton for top Super League post
Robert Elstone has quit as chief executive of English Premier League soccer club Everton to take on the same role at Super League, English rugby league’s top-tier competition.
Elstone, whose switch was mooted in March, is leaving the Liverpool-based team after 13 years to succeed Nigel Wood, who announced his resignation as chief executive of Super League and the Rugby Football League, rugby league’s governing body in England, in January.
Wood will replace David Collier as chief executive of the Rugby League International Federation, the sport's world governing body, from 1 June.
The move marks a return to rugby league for Elstone, who was on the board at Super League’s Castleford Tigers and also executive assistant to the chief executive at the RFL in the mid-1990s.
His other roles have included working as the director of football business affairs for Sky, the UK pay-TV giant, and as director of the Deloitte Sports Business Group.
Elstone's experience at Sky could help Super League broker a lucrative new domestic rights deal when its present deal expires in 2021.
Super League is in the second year of a five-year rights deal with Sky worth £200 million ($270 million).
Elstone will be replaced as Everton chief executive by his deputy Denise Barrett-Baxendale, while Sasha Ryazantsev has been promoted to the executive leadership team with responsibility for the club's financial and commercial performance. He has been a member of the board since March 2016 and has mainly focused on relationships with creditors and investors.
Everton are now looking for a new team manager after Sam Allardyce left the club today, after a seven-month stint, on the back of an eighth-place finish in the Premier League this past season.