Chief executive Shane Logan to leave Ulster Rugby in August
Ulster Rugby chief executive officer Shane Logan will step down from his role in August after a turbulent year for the province.
In the past year, the club have had to contend with the fallout from a high-profile rape trial involving players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. Both players were acquitted of all charges, but had their contracts revoked following an internal review by the IRFU.
Ulster have also seen performances fall below standard on the field, as well as having to cope with the departure of two coaches in Les Kiss and Jono Gibbes.
Logan took over at Ulster in 2010 and immediately declared that he wanted Ulster to become one of the best sides in the world under his direction.
However, in recent seasons the relationship between the CEO and the IRFU appeared to sour, particularly after it was announced that Ruan Pienaar would leave the province under instruction from the IRFU.
Logan had come under intense scrutiny over the past year from fans and pundits, and was criticised for the decision to ban news journalists from press conferences towards the end of the season.
Logan did not reveal the reason for his departure from the province, but admitted that after eight years the time was right to move on.
"I am very grateful to have had the privilege of being Chief Executive of Ulster Rugby since 2010," Logan said in the statement announcing his departure.
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"We have been able to build a fine stadium, repay our debts, deliver consistent profit and strong commercial growth. This is now allowing us to invest in our clubs, schools and very significantly in our Academy.
"In terms of win ratios, the senior Ulster team has become more competitive but I am as disappointed as anybody not to have landed that elusive trophy.
"There have been some significant challenges in recent years. I hope that the unity with which everyone in Ulster faced these will endure for generations. I wish everyone in Ulster the very best for the future."
Logan will continue to oversee the day-to-day running of the province while the search for his successor is undertaken by the Ulster and the IRFU in tandem.
Paul Terrington, Chair of the Ulster Rugby Management Committee, added: "On behalf of Ulster Rugby I want to thank Shane Logan for his commitment to the club over the past eight years. Shane has made a significant contribution in terms of placing Ulster Rugby on a secure financial footing.
"The redevelopment of Kingspan Stadium and training facilities will be a lasting legacy. His great work with rugby clubs all over Ulster's nine counties is also acknowledged."
Philip Browne, IRFU CEO, also commented: "Having strong, financially secure provinces is vital to Irish Rugby, and Shane has worked with teams, managers, sponsors, government and other sports effectively over eight years at Ulster Rugby.
"We thank Shane for his dedication to Ulster Rugby and are sorry to see him go, but wish him all the very best for the future."