Munster have hired Ian Flanagan as their new CEO.
Flanagan, from Ballyphehane in Cork city, will take charge of the province from mid-October, once he departs his current role as Global Head of Football with Treble Group, a sports marketing and event management company.
In between spells working for Treble, Flanagan was a Commercial Director with Leicester City FC from 2012 to 2016, during which time Leicester won the Premier League.
“As a proud Cork man, I have always been a supporter and felt a strong connection with Munster Rugby. I understand that it’s a unique club with a very special history and place in the hearts of Munster people,” he said in a statement.
“It is an absolute honour to come back home to Munster to take on the challenge of leading the province forward. I have worked with many world-class sports organisations throughout my career, and I hope to bring that experience to help Munster move forward to even greater success.”
Flanagan takes over from Garrett Fitzgerald, who retired in June after serving as CEO for 20 years. Head of Finance and Operations Philip Quinn had been acting CEO for the past year.
Flanagan praised both Fitzgerald and Quinn, saying: “I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Garrett Fitzgerald and to Philip Quinn. Thanks to them, all the fundamentals are in place. Munster Rugby has a world-class coaching team, an exciting squad of players, fantastic facilities and a flourishing grassroots game at club and schools level.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to help drive continued success on and off the pitch.
Flanagan was previously a Managing Director for Treble and a Director of Business Development for CSS Stellar.
He studied undergraduate and masters Arts degrees at UCC, before obtaining a Philosophy PhD from the University of London.
He was also a literature tutor at the University of Oxford before moving into the sporting industry in 2002.
Gerry O’Shea, Chairman of the Munster Rugby Board, said: “We were extremely pleased with the quality of the applicants for the CEO position, and we are delighted that Ian will take up the position in October.
“Ian brings huge experience from across sport and has a proven track record of delivering at the very top level.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Ian as we continue to pursue our strategic objectives for the province.”
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “The IRFU are pleased to welcome Ian to the rugby family.
“Strong and growing provincial teams and branches are vital to the long-term development of rugby from grassroots level to provincial senior teams, and beyond.
“We look forward to working with Ian in the months and years ahead.”