Former Sheffield Eagles chief executive John Whaling has spoken about his departure from the club for the first time.
Whaling was tasked by former chairman Ian Swire to spearhead the plans to find new investors for Eagles, but he left in October last year with a short statement confirming a ‘difference of opinion.’ Now working back in rugby union back with Rotherham Titans, Whaling confirmed that it was a clash of ideas on how the club could be saved which prompted his resignation.
“When you have a tough season emotions run high” Whaling said. “We had a board meeting and I had my ideas on how I thought we could save the club, and others had different ideas. With Ian moving on, I decided that it was time for me to move on as well and give someone else a chance to have their say.
“It was with a real heavy heart because having a connection over 25 years, it made it difficult. I still go and watch, the fans still talk to me and long may that continue. It is another chapter for me now, I started in rugby union and I am going back to my roots and to a town where I have lived most my life.”
Whaling sympathised with the current situation as Eagles remain at a stand-off with the council as they wait for the green light on an energy business before their preferred investor can commit funds.
Seven months on from Whaling’s departure and little has changed, although meetings are expected to resume at the start of next month.
Whaling said: “This time last year we were saying similar things, I really do hope that they can get the land for the power plant because the investment hinges on that.” ”