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Canberra Raiders chairman to step down

Raiders' board chairman John McIntyre is believed to be stepping down from his duties.

Raiders' board chairman John McIntyre is believed to be stepping down from his duties. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Canberra Raiders chairman John McIntyre will step down from his post in November as the NRL club undergoes one of the biggest management overhauls in its history.

McIntyre plans to announce his impending retirement as chairman at the Raiders annual presentation ball on Wednesday night.

The Raiders patriarch has a 32-year history at the club and his departure comes as the Raiders continue the search to replace sacked coach David Furner.

Raiders chairman John McIntyre is expected to walk away from the club.

Raiders chairman John McIntyre is expected to walk away from the club. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

Approached by The Canberra Times about the speculation he planned to retire, McIntyre confirmed he would step down at the end of this term, by November 1. McIntyre did not want to comment further, preferring to break the news personally to the club’s stakeholders at the Mal Meninga Medal presentation at the AIS Arena on Wednesday.

Following one of the most turbulent seasons in Raiders history, McIntyre’s departure will be just as monumental in the club’s future direction as the sacking of Furner.

The McIntyres and Furners have had long family dynasties at the Raiders, with the club long having to withstand accusations of nepotism from critics.

The McIntyre family built the Raiders, John having been there since its inception in 1982.

His father, Les McIntyre, was the founding chairman of the Raiders, while John McIntyre was the inaugural chief executive.

David Furner was son of Canberra’s first coach, Don Furner senior, while his elder brother, Don Junior, remains as chief executive.

It’s understood the decision to sack David Furner last month was one McIntyre personally struggled with.

McIntyre was a staunch supporter of Furner and a close family friend, fighting on his behalf when the coach had previously been under attack to keep his position.

McIntyre has also been as defiant about his own role, with ongoing rumours over recent years that he would stand down. Asked in June last year whether he would contemplate retirement, McIntyre said: ‘‘Not until I find somebody as boneheaded as me to take over.’’

It is understood that long-serving board member Allan Hawke could be in line to take over as chairman.

Having resigned as Raiders chief executive in 1991 in the wake of the club’s salary cap scandal, McIntyre rejoined the Raiders as chairman in 2002 when Canberra District Rugby League took back ownership of the club from News Limited.

It’s unknown whether McIntyre will continue in some capacity with the Raiders board.

The Raiders will also take another step towards appointing a new coach as early as Wednesday, with the board to meet and narrow its list of candidates, which will include Ricky Stuart, Tim Sheens, Neil Henry and Andrew Dunemann.

The Raiders board met on Sunday and is set to reconvene and endorse formal approaches to candidates.

It’s understood the Raiders board is looking more favourably at appointing a senior coach, possibly even a coaching director with assistants provided more responsibility.

It would be similar to the structures employed by Queensland State of Origin Mal Meninga, who is on the subcommittee charged with finding the next Raiders coach.

It would also mirror a structure used successfully by Jake White at the Brumbies, with Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham employed as forwards and backs coaches respectively.

The Raiders have also looked at coaching models in the American NFL.

While there is some pressure to appoint a replacement quickly, the board is holding its nerve, given interim coach Dunemann remains contracted for next year and there is confidence he can initiate plans for the 2014 pre-season until he or someone else is appointed.

Parramatta coach and former Raiders premiership player Ricky Stuart does headline a list of candidates, but Sheens and Henry are both without jobs in the NRL, which may ease their transition to Canberra.

4 comments

  • Allan Hawke? Fair go! He'd probably want to repeat his main claim to fame in Defence and commission a new Raiders logo. I think it would be better if he kept to the ANU and academia.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm warming to the view that school-education may be the key to the sorts of problems the Raiders have been experiencing. Yes, I know, that there's little, positive correlation between actual footballing skills and schooling. But, there is a definite, positive correlation between intelligence and education. And, it's primarily a lack of intelligence that's been demonstrated by the likes of Carney, Dugan and Ferguson off-field. It seems from recent CT reports that poor bloody Fergusion can't even string more than a couple of words together.

    And, that brings me back again to the Brumbies. Most of the top State schools as well as the private and Catholic schools in NSW and QLD play rugby union. And, a comparison between the Brumbies' and Raiders' off-field behaviour, generally, seems to prove my point.

    Commenter
    eudaimonia@bigpond.com.au
    Location
    Kingston
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 1:30PM
    • Poor socio-economic (and just plain poor) upbringing, these guys would never go to private schools, you shouldn't hold that against them.

      No decent mentor to guide them, basically wild and\or spoilt (spoilt in Dugans case) kids. Bit hard to get educated when you are not taught the value in it.

      Having said all that, you are probably right.

      Commenter
      jon
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 3:18PM
  • Spoken like a pair of real Canberran snoots.

    It's time the old men of the management "team" and the board were tossed aside so that younger members of the club can take over. The problems of the club stem from the board and the management team.

    Organisational management is changing but the Raiders' management and board are stuck in a time warp.

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    September 11, 2013, 3:46PM
    • Allan Hawke. Wow talk about another job for the boys!

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      September 11, 2013, 3:47PM
      Comments are now closed

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      WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
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      NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
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      CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
      PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
      SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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      Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
      Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
      CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
      MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
      GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
      MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
      CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
      NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
      PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
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      Round 26
      Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
      NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
      Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
      BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
      CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
      STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
      NQL vs GCT 00:001300
      MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
      WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
      PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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