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Simon Johnson, previously the RFL’s Senior Non-Executive Director having joined the Board in July 2014, became the Chair of the RFL in October 2019. Alongside his appointment, two additional Non-Executive Directors were added to the Board.
Simon runs a Consultancy business advising clients in the sport and leisure industries and charitable third sector. He spent 7 years as Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council. Before that, he had a 20-year career that saw him operate at the highest levels of the sports and media industries. After a period as the senior lawyer at the Premier League, Simon’s career in sport saw him spend four years as Director of Corporate Affairs at The Football Association, followed by a role as COO of England’s Bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He started his career as a lawyer, spending 10 years with ITV, the majority as Director of Rights and Business Affairs.
Away from sport, Simon lives in London with his wife and three children. He is an active participant in community and charitable institutions.
Ed Mallaburn is IMG Media’s Head of Sport, and sits on both the RFL and RL Commercial Boards as part of IMG’s 12-year strategic partnership with Rugby League.
Frank Slevin has a formidable commercial background, having worked in senior banking roles with BNP Paribas, Citigroup and HSBC, then as Executive Chairman of House of Fraser for more than four years from 2014-18. Mr Slevin was appointed the first Independent Chair of British Cycling in January 2018, initially for a three-year term, which was extended in 2021 to a second three-year term running until January 2024. He will combine his non-executive role with RL Commercial with his existing position at British Cycling.
Anna Chanduvi is a sports media specialist, as Meta’s London-based lead for Sports and Entertainment Media Partnerships since 2018, and having previously managed content strategy and rights acquisition for beIN Sports. She was included on the Forbes “30 under 30” list for 2021, and the “30 under 30 Next Generation Leaders in Sport” by the Sports Industry Group in 2019. She has also been a Board member of Sports Equity International since 2018, and is a founding Director of the WBR network – Women Breaking Records.
Peter Hutton has four decades of experience in the sports industry, since 2018 as Director Media Partnerships for Meta, including external relationships with sports organisations such as FIFA, the IOC, the NFL and the Premier League – in addition to broadcasters and streaming companies worldwide. Previous roles included CEO of Eurosport, the MD of Fox Sports, and the CEO of Ten Sports – having taken his early steps into sports broadcasting covering Rugby League for Pennine Radi and then Sky Sports in the early years of the Super League.
Jonathan Murphy is the CEO of Assura plc, the Warrington-based property business with a focus on social impact and sustainability in healthcare. He worked for Assura as finance director from 2013 before becoming CEO in 2017, and has more than a decade of FTSE 250 Board experience. Since 2020, he has been Chair of the North West Business Leadership Team.
Robert Hicks was appointed Company Secretary in January 2023. He has worked in Rugby League within the Legal and Operations Department since February 2011 becoming the Director of Operations and Legal in October 2021. He has overall responsibility for the administration and regulatory framework across all sectors of the sport including Player Welfare and Safeguarding. Robert is a former International Match Official having officiated at 3 World Cups. He has refereed 2 Challenge Cup Finals, 2 Grand Finals, 2 World Club Challenges and numerous international matches whilst taking charge of over 500 first team matches including over 300 in Super League. A qualified lawyer, Robert was admitted to the Roll in February 2008 (having previously been called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in July 2004). He previously worked in private practice before joining the RFL where he was responsible for the drafting of the sport’s first set of Operational Rules for Tiers 4-6 as well as being the lead legal person on the 2013 World Cup. Robert has been actively involved in the sport for most of his life, including in several volunteer roles within the community game at Saddleworth Rangers and latterly at Batley Boys.
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