Former Saints CEO Robson returns to rugby with Irish

Allan Robson has joined London Irish (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Allan Robson has joined London Irish (picture: Sharon Lucey)

London Irish have announced that former Saints CEO Allan Robson is joining the club’s board of directors as its new non-executive chairman.

Robson retired from his role at Franklin’s Gardens last summer, but he will reunite with Brian Facer, who is now Irish CEO having been commercial director at Saints.

Robson spent 10 years at Northampton between 2007 and 2017, during which time the club won its first Aviva Premiership title and several other trophies.

Off the pitch, Saints also set the benchmark within the Aviva Premiership for commercial success, recording profits for 17 successive years.

In 2015, Robson oversaw a multi-million-pound expansion of the Gardens that saw the Barwell Stand replace the Sturtridge Pavilion.

Since retiring from Saints at the end of May 2017, Robson has taken on non-executive directorships with British Handball and Taekwondo Events.

And he says he was delighted to get the call from London Irish.

“London Irish have always been a great club and I had no hesitation in joining the board of directors when I got the call from (London Irish president) Mick Crossan,” Robson said.

“It is an exciting time to be joining the club, with a new coaching team led by Declan Kidney and Les Kiss to put together a strong team on the pitch, and promising commercial plans to build on the strong London Irish brand and make sure that the club is sustainable over the long-term.

“There is an outstanding group of staff, and the supporters are second-to-none, and I believe that everything is in place for London Irish to succeed.”

Crossan feels Robson’s knowledge and experience will be crucial as the Exiles set their eyes on a strong future.

“While Allan was at Northampton they set the standards for the rest of the league in every area of their operations,” said Crossan.

“On the pitch they were very successful, winning several trophies and bringing through some outstanding players. They also showed that you can balance success on the pitch with commercial results and profitability.

“These are our ambitions at London Irish and we are committed to building up the club for a new future that will see us compete consistently for silverware, while also being profitable.

“Allan’s know-how and experience will be crucial in helping us achieve this, and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to the board of directors.”

Robson will take up his unpaid position as non-executive chairman with immediate effect.