Lions boss Rathbone crosses the Jukskei to become Bulls CEO

08 May 2020 - 13:32 By Liam Del Carme
Ellis Park Stadium’s managing director Edgar Rathbone.
Ellis Park Stadium’s managing director Edgar Rathbone.

Edgar Rathbone‚ Ellis Park Stadium’s managing director‚ will cross the Jukskei to become the Blue Bulls Company’s new chief executive.

Rathbone‚ who joined the Lions in 2013‚ will replace Alfons Meyer at the start of next month.

His move will be a big blow to the Lions. He made his mark at Ellis Park not just as a force in sponsorship negotiations but a steady head and hand in their management.

Naturally‚ moving from the Lions to their arch enemies to the north required careful consideration.

“My time with them has been nothing short of memorable with the highs outweighing the lows. This includes various successful sponsorship agreements and a host of sold-out events‚ all the interactions with the loyal Lions members and suite owners and especially the relationship I have with Rudolf [Straeuli] and Altmann [Allers]‚ who taught me so much about rugby and business‚” Rathbone said.

Despite their loss‚ Straeuli‚ CEO of the Lions Rugby Company‚ supported Rathbone’s decision.

“We understand and support his decision to take up this offer and we are grateful for the many accomplishments under his watch. I look forward to working with him on a new front and know together as CEOs‚ although ‘competitors’‚ we will always share our passion for the game and longevity for the sport‚” Straeuli concluded.

Allers‚ owner of Ellis Park Stadium and chairman of Lions Rugby Company‚ reminded that Rathbone joined the franchise at a challenging time when the Lions just came back into Super Rugby.

“One of his immediate responsibilities was to get the business back on track commercially through securing additional sponsorships and generating new revenue streams for the Lions.

“Through hard work and determination‚ he managed to show positive results within a short period. When Rudolf joined the Lions a few months later‚ they formed a formidable team which led to countless successes on various levels‚” concluded Allers.

Rathbone is pleased about taking the reins at Loftus.

“I have always had immense respect for the Bulls and I’m extremely excited about this new chapter in my life‚” he said.

“I am sincerely looking forward to getting stuck in and doing my best to add to the legacy of the Bulls. Even though it’s extremely sad saying goodbye to my colleagues at the Lions‚ I do look forward to making new friends and partnerships at Loftus.”