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Club Update: Gurr to step down as CEO

Dear Members,

I wanted to let you know that I will be stepping down from my position as Chief Executive Officer of Parramatta National Rugby League Club at the conclusion of my contract on 31 October 2019.

When appointed as CEO in October 2016, our Club was not functioning well. We had substantial financial losses in 2015 & 2016, multiple Salary Cap breaches, governance problems and sub-standard management practices and processes.

Our sponsorship, hospitality and membership revenues were severely impaired by the reputational damage connected to our Club around this time which was highlighted by the absence of a Major Sponsor as we entered the 2017 NRL season. Not surprisingly, since the Club’s last Grand Final appearance in 2009, the results of our Parramatta Eels NRL team were unsatisfactory for our large and loyal fan base.

I have been extremely fortunate to be part of a dedicated team that has worked diligently to rebuild trust, stability and respect around our Club; firstly, governance reform was instituted through the adoption of a new PNRL Constitution; secondly, we have stabilised the business from a financial perspective.

We have collectively reduced the operational losses from over $12 million in 2016 to $10 million in 2017 and then down to approximately $4 million in 2018. These 2 building blocks of governance reform and financial stability were absolutely necessary to provide a legitimate platform to rebuild our Club.

In addition, through professional and ethical management of our team, many other improvements of our Club have occurred during this rebuilding phase.

Over the past 2.5 years, again through the combined efforts of our team, we have signed and since renewed ALAND as our Major Sponsor and renewed our agreement with the Northern Territory Government. This is just the beginning – over the next few years the scope for our Club to materially grow our commercial, membership and game day revenues is substantial.

Through the commitment of our great staff of people, we have progressed exciting new initiatives that will drive our Club in future years. We now have the wonderful new Bankwest Stadium as our home and the Kellyville Park project will provide immeasurable benefits across all areas of the business. We have a definitive Strategic Plan, enhanced the capability of our management team and most importantly our Football Programs, both the NRL and Junior Representative Program, are in good shape (including our Salary Cap!).

At our core, we are a football club and so we continue to be totally committed to providing our fans and partners with a successful NRL Rugby League team. Like you, I am looking forward to supporting  our NRL team as we head towards a positive end for our 2019 season.

It has been a privilege to be able to serve as the CEO of such a great Club as the Parramatta Eels. I sincerely wish to thank you all for your outstanding contributions to growing and improving our Club. I have also very much appreciated your support of me.

The best days of our great Club are in front of us!

Best wishes.

Bernie Gurr

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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