LAST Saturday, the board held their mid-season review. We had put a development plan in place in October and one of the actions was to hold the review, evaluate how far we have come and identify existing or new areas that require focus.

To be fair, we were quite critical of ourselves. I think we have made progress regarding a lot of the actions on the plan, but we still felt that to a degree we were set-up like an amateur club’s committee.

I’ve been involved a lot at that level and I would say that we are a pretty good committee. All the board members are active with their roles defined and all putting in an enormous amount of unpaid time.

However, we all felt that to take us to the next level there were a number of paid positions which needed to be created, starting with a CEO/general manager. Nearly every club has this position filled and we have been getting by with the tremendous work of our secretary alone.

This position would deal with the day-to-day running of the club and not necessitate the board to be involved in virtually every decision. Only those decisions which may need some significant financial input above budget would be taken to board level.

At a recent RFL meeting, other member clubs were amazed we have 52 meetings a year when others conduct their affairs either monthly or quarterly.

Ideally, the board should just be providing the leadership and vision for the future of the club with each director able to manage their own respective areas without the need for a show of hands for every decision.

We have created some paid positions already this season in our commercial and community departments and the dividends have been immediately obvious.

Those two areas are doing particularly well as we try to establish ourselves not just as a rugby team, but a club that is the heartbeat of our community.

At the meeting I shared my vision of creating a club that is growing in every area. In the medium term I want the club to be established as a strong Championship club, entertaining growing crowds of a completely new generation.

I want us to be self-sustainable by the creation of an events programme which involves the whole community. I want our facilities to improve either gradually through making a yearly budget available or by exploring other avenues like partnerships or grants.

I want our club to be the best it possibly can be.