Jevans’ departure: A PR disaster for RFU?

It’s not surprising that Debbie Jevans has decided to keep quiet her “personal reasons” for resigning as chief executive of the England World Cup 2015 organising committee because it has since been revealed that she is expecting a £150,000 pay-off. Her annual salary was said to be in the region of £250,000.

However, the Twickenham rumour mill has been working overtime with reasons for the Jevans walk-out, just six months before the tournament starts.
One reason touted is that the former director of sport for the London Olympics had a series of fall-outs with RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie. She already knew him as CEO of the All England Club, where Jevans is a committee member.
There are strong suggestions that Ritchie, in turn, was being pressured by the RFU management board, and the RFU committee (Will Carling’s 57 “old farts”) to make sure that the RFU bucket and spade brigade were being properly looked after by England World Cup 2015 in terms of hospitality and tickets.

So with Jevans refusing to ladle out the gravy to the RFU blazers, preferring instead to make sure World Rugby and her former Olympics operatives were catered for-especially in terms of recruiting a 200-strong RWC2015 staff contingent – the knives were out.
Word was leaked that the World Cup trophy tour was not up to scratch and that grass-roots clubs were not being involved sufficiently. Then it emerged that Ritchie was shocked by staffing levels at RWC2015, which he considered to be excessive.

Whatever the reasons, it does not reflect well on the RFU to get into a position where an administrator with Jevans’ successful track record in sports administration walks away from such an important position because of “intractable differences”.

Mike Miles


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