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Chairman's praise for Tigers supporters

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Executive chairman Peter Tom CBE admits the support for Leicester Tigers never ceases to amaze him.

Mr Tom told the club’s annual general meeting at Welford Road how he meets fans of the Tigers wherever he goes on business.

“The amount of support and goodwill for Leicester Tigers never fails to amaze me,” he said.

“I travel extensively on business and wherever I go my business meetings invariably start and finish on the subject of Leicester Tigers.”

Mr Tom added: “I would also like to thank our sponsors, especially Caterpillar, who are helping to raise the profile of Leicester Tigers around the world.

“Thank you also to our Academy vice-presidents, whose financial support helps to maintain a productive Academy and youth development programme.”

Executive director Peter Wheeler reported on the club’s relationships with the Rugby Football Union and umbrella bodies Premiership Rugby, ERC and the IRB.

Mr Wheeler also praised director of rugby Richard Cockerill and head coach Matt O’Connor, who guided Tigers to back-to-back English Premiership titles at Twickenham in May.

“They clearly appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and dovetail to fit,” he said.

Mr Wheeler also praised the work of the support staff at Oval Park, including the physios and conditioners, and club captain Geordan Murphy.

“The manner in which he has embraced the captaincy is remarkable,” said Mr Wheeler. “The regard he is held among the players, coaching staff, board and the support is second to none.”

Managing director David Clayton reported an increase in turnover of £1.4million to a record £18.5million, a growth of nine per cent, and an operating profit of £284,000.

“This strong growth in turnover was made possible by utilising the increased stadium capacity, and the extensive new facilities in the Caterpillar Stand,” Mr Clayton said.

He said this was evidenced by a record 13,400 season-ticket sales, an average Welford Road attendance of just under 21,000 and a 70-per-cent increase in conference and events sales.

Mr Clayton also reported on the club’s community activities, which has seen the community team visit 250 schools, colleges and university and coach more than 21,000 children and students.

“We were also actively involved in supporting and delivering a range of lifestyle initiatives in schools throughout Leicestershire,” he said. “Our support for these activities reflects the importance we attach to putting something back into those communities who have supported Leicester Tigers over many generations.”

Mr Clayton added: “Achieving the twin goals of playing success and financial strength are essential for our continuing and sustainable growth and development. Delivering both will at times be challenging but they are, nonetheless, achievable.

“I believe here at Leicester we have the people – on and off the field – that can deliver these twin goals and keep Leicester as a powerhouse of world rugby.”

In the formal part of the AGM agenda, Terry Gateley, Roy Jackson, Rory Underwood, Peter Wheeler and Sir Clive Woodward were re-elected to the board of directors.