In her first interview since being appointed Leicester Tigers Chief Executive Officer, Andrea Pinchen joins Geordan Murphy on LTTV WEEKLY to look back on the latest news, her first week in the role, her time and roles at the club since 2004 and the state of play - on and off the pitch - at Tigers HQ.
Away from the Board room, Murphy answers questions about the club's recent recruitment news and rumours circulating about potential additions to the Leicester squad ahead of new season, as well as the renewed focus on developing youngsters at the club.
The pair also discuss recent Government updates on a return to action for elite sport, the Lord Myners Salary Cap review and recommendations, as well as plenty more.
Watch the latest edition of LTTV WEEKLY from 8.00pm tonight (Friday, May 15) below on LTTV.
“We need to make sure the structures are in place to be as successful as we can be … and have one-hundred percent clarity for all of us internally and externally.”Tigers CEO, Andrea Pinchen
Pinchen, who was appointed to the role five days ago, admitted the decision made for Simon Cohen to stand down was not what she envisaged when the week began.
“I didn’t envisage it starting the way that it did but it has,” she said.
“Quite a lot to pick up on or continue through the week, looking at the situation we are in now and on to the future.”
Last week, the club confirmed new additions to the squad ahead of the 2020/21 season in the playing and coaching ranks and while Murphy didn’t add anymore names to the list, the head coach alluded to more to come while shutting down a social media rumour.
“Like everything this season, we have been attached to quite a few rumours,” he said.
“Maro Itoje is a fantastic players but is not in our plans at present.
“We actually are in the process of finalising someone in that position, when we are ready.”
Speaking about the departure of Cohen, Pinchen added: “With regards to my working life with Simon, he really has championed my cause and I have learnt a lot from him.”
“Throughout my tenure at tiers, where we have worked together.
“I wanted to say thank you to him.”
The new CEO also shared her thoughts on the pair of outgoing Tigers Board members, David Abel and Ian Walker.
“David Abell was there long before I came and as a fan … he has brought a lot during his tenure with us,” said Pinchen.
“And, Ian [Walker], who has been at the club for twenty years … his humour will be missed.
“We wish him all the best, he has been really instrumental in driving us forward through this era.”
When asked about the appointment of Pinchen, Murphy said he and the rugby staff were “happy” and excited about the “passion” the new boss has for the club.
“I think we’re very happy with the person we have been appointed with,” he said.
“Every department she was worked with, her passion has shone through.
“It’s exciting, she is the best person for the job and we’re excited to get moving forward with her in charge.”
In a wide-ranging chat, Pinchen also discussed her journey from the Ticket Office to Board room at Tigers and her first memories of the club, which helped build her passion for Tigers.
Following extensive reports about the club’s first female CEO, Pinchen responded to them by saying: “It’s not a factor for me … I firmly believe, you work hard and you can be anything you want to be.”
“Whatever your gender, it’s not a thing for me.
“For me, it’s more about cognitive diversity … I want different ways of thinking.”
When quizzed about what her priorities will be in her early days in the top job, Pinchen highlighted current pandemic while also confirming the part she will play in the “rugby” part of the business.
“There is no point me tinkering in things that are not my area of expertise.”
“Where I can assist is in man management, strategy.
“The most important piece is the rugby. We are a business but our business is rugby.
“We need to make sure the structures are in place to be as successful as we can be … and have one-hundred percent clarity for all of us internally and externally.”
Murphy, discussing the working relationship between him and Pinchen, added: “I am confident that the relationship myself and Andrea have built is a strong one.
“She is really passionate about the place, cares about what we do … she will support us, empower us to get back and start this journey.
“We have our hands up, we have not been as good as we would have liked to have been … we have not shied away from that fact.
“We have looked to get the support from the board, and now Andrea, in order to get us back on track and to winning ways.”
In discussing the current circumstances and challenges the club are facing, the new Tigers CEO said: “It’s unprecedented times, for all business, especially businesses that rely on crowds of people.”
“We are working hard behind the scenes.
“We are having all kinds of information … everything is being put into place behind the scenes and we will communicate, once we know the situation and be transparent with everybody.”
The pair also discussed the recent Government update for a return to elite sport, the findings of the salary cap review and shared their pride in the club’s staff efforts during this challenging time.
“For the fans, it’s extremely frustrating,” said Pinchen.
“The fans are just waiting for knowledge … they want to know when they can come back and get behind the lads, like all of us.
“Staff are trying to answer questions, really, with no information … you have just got to try and keep people as informed as possible.
“The minute we know something, you will be the first to know.”