The Rugby Football League have announced the appointment of Blake Solly as the First Utility Super League’s general manager in a newly-created role that has been supported by the competition’s clubs.
Australian Solly will step down from his current position of RFL Director of Standards and Licensing in order to concentrate fully on the new job when he starts on June 1.
The decision comes at a pivotal time for the competition and the sport as rugby league prepares to embrace a bold new structure in 2015.
Solly is widely respected by many of the clubs’ hierarchies and is seen as ideal to help enhance the competition.
Super League chief executive Nigel Wood said: “This is a significant appointment that will enable the First Utility Super League to maximise the opportunities created by the new league structures and ensure that the competition builds on the momentum we have gained in the last few years.
“With an expanding commercial portfolio and a record-breaking broadcast contract with Sky Sports in place, Super League is perfectly positioned to grow still further and Blake is the best person to lead that growth.
“Blake has proved to be a valuable, respected and accomplished administrator during his time at the RFL and this appointment is recognition of his ability.
“The model of having a dedicated General Manager helped us deliver the most successful Rugby League World Cup of all time and I have no doubts that this new role, together with other initiatives, will produce similar results for Super League.”
Solly’s elevation is given further momentum by the announcement yesterday that Paul Tyrrell will join the organisation to advise on PR and Corporate Communications.
He was previously Head of External Affairs at BBC North and has held senior communications roles at Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton football clubs. He will support the new Super League chief.
Solly said: “This is an extremely exciting time for the First Utility Super League and it is a real honour to be appointed as general manager.
“I want to thank the Super League clubs for supporting the appointment, and look forward to working closely with them to ensure the continued growth of their competition.”