Shattered … Steve Noyce has been sacked. Photo: Ryan Pierse
STEVE NOYCE arrived at work yesterday following a holiday excited that some renovations to the Sydney Roosters offices were taking place. Within hours, he had been sacked by the club, a victim of the restructuring taking place.
On his first day back at work following a holiday in Thailand, Noyce was called to a meeting which included the chief executive of Easts Group, Scott Bennetts, to be told the restructure did not involve him. Brian Canavan, Noyce's predecessor, will rejoin the club as the chief operating officer of the football department, answering to Bennetts.
It comes just weeks after the club sacked coach Brian Smith and then appointed Trent Robinson, who spent some time at the club yesterday amid the turmoil.
Noyce said yesterday he had been left ''shattered'' by the decision.
''I'm not exactly sure what I'm feeling,'' said Noyce, who informed his staff of the decision just before lunchtime yesterday. ''It's been a privilege and an honour to work here over the last four years. I'm sure the club is going to have success in 2013 and beyond.
''There is a lot of passion in the place and some wonderful staff. I'm sure everyone will be working hard to make next season a successful one.''
Canavan will now be charged with ensuring that happens. He did not wish to comment yesterday, but will speak publicly today about his decision to return. In recent years, Canavan has been a consultant with the NSW Rugby League through a major overhaul of operations, as well as the ARL Commission in its review of the shoulder charge.
At the Roosters, he will oversee the implementation of a high-performance unit and recruitment, the latter alongside recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan.
''Brian is the most experienced football administrator in the country, and his return to the club he loves is a major coup,'' Roosters chairman Nick Politis said.
''He will add the knowledge and crucial systems to the football department that is required in the modern game for ultimate success.''
Craig Walker, the former rehab manager who most recently has been with the Warriors, will also return as physical performance manager, while the club's general manager of marketing will be promoted to the role of chief operating officer of commercial.
Politis maintained that the decision to cut ties with Noyce was a mutual one. ''Stephen is a hard-working man of great integrity and honour, and his work over the past four years has set our club up to move forward in a very solid position,'' Politis said.
Noyce said the decision came as a shock to him, and admitted that the side's poor performance in recent seasons - the club finished 13th last year - contributed to his sudden demise.
''People who know me know the most important things are my wife Kerry and my wonderful family,'' he said. ''As long as I've got them.
''I'm aware they're looking to restructure the way we operate. They have a passion for this great club, and they're decisions they believe are in the best interests of the Roosters. It's professional sport. A lot is determined by a level of success. It's no secret that, during the last four years, there have been some fairly challenging times.''
Noyce said he was disappointed that he could not play a role in the club's future next year, which is set to include Sonny Bill Williams as well as James Maloney. ''If I've made a small contribution towards the club, I'm happy,'' Noyce said.