Shane Logan: Ulster Rugby chief executive to step down in August

Shane Logan was appointed as Ulster's chief executive in 2010
Shane Logan said being in the Ulster role had been "a privilege"

Ulster Rugby chief executive Shane Logan is to step down from his position in August.

His statement did not give any reason for the decision but it comes at the end of a turbulent year for Ulster.

There have been tensions with the IRFU over player recruitment while Ulster players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were tried and acquitted for rape.

The season also saw two head coaches - Les Kiss and Jono Gibbes - leave the Irish province.

Logan publicly disagreed with the IRFU's decision not to allow Ulster to give South African scrum-half Ruan Pienaar a new contract in 2016.

Further moves in recent weeks aimed at ensuring Pienaar's return to Ulster from Montpellier came to nothing.

Ulster wanted Elton Jantjies to be Paddy Jackson's replacement
Ulster's attempt to sign Springboks fly-half Elton Jantjies was blocked last month

Jantjies move to Ulster blocked by IRFU

It is understood the IRFU recently blocked Ulster from signing Springbok fly-half Elton Jantjies effectively as a replacement for Jackson after a deal had been agreed with the South African.

On the field this season, Ulster were knocked out of European Champions Cup in January and also failed to qualify for the Pro14 play-offs.

Director of Rugby Kiss left his role shortly after their European exit while new coach Jono Gibbes announced he would be quitting the Irish province to return home to New Zealand only four weeks after being appointed to the position.

In late March, Ireland players Jackson and Olding were cleared of rape after a nine-week trial but two weeks later the duo's contracts were terminated by the IRFU and Ulster following details of social media and text messages that emerged during their trial.

The right time to move on - Logan

Amid the controversy that followed the trial, Ulster and their chief executive faced intense scrutiny from the public, media and some Ulster supporters as well as criticism over attempts to ban news journalists from press conferences.

In his statement on Friday, Logan said it was the "right time to move on" after being in the position since 2010.

"I am very grateful to have had the privilege of being chief executive of Ulster Rugby since 2010," added Logan, who will remain in the role until his successor takes over.

"We have been able to build a new 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."

Logan added he was "as disappointed as anybody" by Ulster's failure to land a trophy during his time in charge.

Kingspan Stadium is 'Logan's legacy'

Ulster's management committee chairman Paul Terrington said Logan had played "a vital role in establishing the club's financial stability and making it a more inclusive organisation".

"The redevelopment of the Kingspan Stadium and training facilities will be a lasting legacy," added Mr Terrington.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne also paid tribute to Logan's "dedication" to the sport and wished him well for the future.

"Having strong, financially secure provinces in vital to Irish Rugby and Shane has worked with teams, managers, sponsors, government and other sports effectively," said the IRFU chief.

In addition to the new stadium, Logan will leave Ulster with significantly increased revenues from sponsorship and commercial deals.

However, the issues around the IRFU's player recruitment strategies remain and are likely to be top of his successor's in-tray.

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