Castleford Tigers: Wells comes in as Gill steps down

High winds ripped through Castleford Tigers' Wheldon Road causing significant damage to the Princess Street stand. Club CEO Steve Gill  next to the damage. (p611d502)High winds ripped through Castleford Tigers' Wheldon Road causing significant damage to the Princess Street stand. Club CEO Steve Gill  next to the damage. (p611d502)
High winds ripped through Castleford Tigers' Wheldon Road causing significant damage to the Princess Street stand. Club CEO Steve Gill next to the damage. (p611d502)
Castleford Tigers have announced a series of major changes to their off-field operation

Tigers have confirmed Steve Gill will step down as chief executive in two months’ time, with commercial director Mark Grattan becoming managing director.

And former Castleford, Wakefield Trinity and London Broncos winger Jon Wells, now a television pundit with Sky Sports, is joining Tigers in the new role of director of rugby.

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In a statement on Monday morning, Tigers issued a letter from Gill to fans outlining his decision.

Gill says he will remain in his role until May 31 and will continue as a director of the club, but in the letter gives no indication of the reason for his decision.

The letter reads:

“Dear all, as from the 31st May 2018 I will be standing down officially as CEO of the Castleford Tigers.

“It has been a privilege, and an honour to serve the club who I have supported since boyhood, and together we have shared some special moments over the past five years.

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“The club itself is possibly in the best position both financially and structurally I have ever known it, and credit must go to everyone involved at the club, for their hard work and commitment in achieving what seemed like the impossible in the early days.

“Between now and the end of May I will be working with the board on the transition of my responsibilities to others. After that I am pleased to be staying on as a director of the club, committed to seeing Castleford Tigers continue to move forward.

“Hopefully I will get around to thank a lot of people for their help in turning the club around, and you, our loyal supporters, for your unwavering support.

“God bless and take care - Steve Gill.”

Speaking to Radio Leeds, Gill said he felt he had “lost his sparkle”.

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He insisted there had been no falling out and said he was “proud of what we’ve achieved as a group” during his five years in the post.

In the club’s statement, Tigers chairman Ian Fulton said: “Upon being appointed to the role of CEO five years ago, Steve, along with everyone involved with Castleford Tigers, has been on a roller coaster ride!

“Upon stepping into the role, when the club had hit rock bottom, to last season’s achievement of League Leaders Shield winners, Grand Finalists and Super League’s ‘Club of the Year’, and not forgetting the 2014 Wembley appearance where I know how proud Steve was to watch my Dad lead the team out, the club has come a long way!

“The past five years have really tested us as a club and as a group, but I believe we are all stronger for confronting these issues. Throughout all these events, when tough decisions had to be made, Steve like the rest of us, has always showed honesty and integrity in these processes.

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“As fans you will know what this club means to Steve, if you have spoken to him or heard him speak, you will know his passion for the club he has supported since being a boy, and in the years going forward Steve will not be a stranger at the club, so I am pleased he has agreed to stay on as a director, so he will continue supporting the club as he has always done.

“On a personal note I would like to thank Steve for the last five years, and also the previous years in the various roles that he has undertaken at the club. I would also like to thank him for his loyalty and friendship over this time and in the future.”

Meanwhile, a separate statement revealed Wells will work alongside coach Daryl Powell, Gill and the board of directors, “looking after football matters from the boot room right up to the boardroom, providing a vital link to identify players and assist with the transition of young players through the system”.

Wells, who made more than 250 Super League appearances, will continue his television work alongside his new role at Tigers.

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He said: “This is an improving, progressive club with the potential now to establish itself as one of the top clubs in Super League for years to come.

“To be asked to help contribute in setting that agenda is both flattering and tremendously exciting.

“It’s a really good time to be coming back to the Tigers; great coaching staff, a brilliant and growing fan base and talented and dedicated players that really do deserve to be competing in and winning the biggest matches in our sport.

“My job is to help provide the environment in which they can do just that.”

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Fulton said: “We are delighted to welcome Jon to the club in the new role of director of rugby. Jon’s knowledge of rugby league and passion for Castleford Tigers is invigorating and we are sure he’ll be a great fit in this new role.

“This will allow Daryl and Mark to concentrate on their day to day roles with Jon providing the perfect link between both departments.”