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11 hours ago | Robert Crosby
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the appointment of Blake Solly as Chief Executive Officer of the Club.
Mr Solly currently holds the position of General Manager of the First Utility Super League, a position which he has held for the past two years, and brings with him vast experience in Rugby League administration, as well as many years' experience as a lawyer.
Mr Solly has previously held positions as Director of Standards and Licensing, and Compliance Manager, of the Rugby Football League in England, and has studied internationally in Australia and the United States of America.
Mr Solly is an Australian who will be returning home with his family after 11 years in the UK.
Rabbitohs Chairman Nicholas Pappas welcomed the forthcoming arrival of Mr Solly to the Rabbitohs Club.
"We're delighted to be bringing someone of Blake's calibre to our Club as CEO," Mr Pappas said.
"His experience in managing one of the code's largest professional bodies internationally, coupled with his background in the legal profession, is a perfect mix for our Club.
"Blake will fit well into our new structure here at South Sydney managing the commercial and administrative arms of the business, and working closely alongside our General Manager of Football, Shane Richardson, to ensure our Club continues its rise ten years after private investment.
"We look forward to having Blake join us when he starts in the role on 17 May, and the Board and management of our Club would also like to thank Nigel Wood and the Board at Super League for accommodating Blake's desire to move back to Australia to join our Club.
"The Board would also like to acknowledge the fantastic job Shannon Donato has done in the Acting CEO role over recent months.
"Shannon has performed with distinction and he will continue to be an extremely valuable member of the off-field team in his important role as Chief Commercial Officer.
"This is an exciting time for our Club and I'm sure I speak on behalf of all of our Members, supporters and partners in welcoming Blake to the South Sydney Rabbitohs."
Mr Solly is looking forward to the next chapter in his career.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to join one of the best clubs in Rugby League," Mr Solly said.
"South Sydney Rabbitohs are a powerhouse on and off the field, the most successful club in NRL history with a passionate fan base, great staff and an extremely strong board.
"I would like to thank the staff, clubs and fans of the RFL and Super League for their support. The competition is in great shape, and in a strong position to grow quickly in the coming years.
"However the time is right to return with my family to Australia after over 11 years in the United Kingdom.
"I would also like to express my appreciation to the RFL for allowing me to begin work at South Sydney in May."
Chief Executive Nigel Wood, said: "Blake has been an excellent General Manager for the First Utility Super League and we are all of course naturally disappointed that he is leaving to return to Australia. That said, we can fully understand the pull of leading one of the biggest clubs in Rugby League and returning home to Sydney.
"Over the last couple of years Blake has contributed an incredible amount to the RFL and in ensuring that the First Utility Super League remains the premier sports league of the British Summer. We wish him all the best in his new role."