With the advent of a new era in rugby league, Sheffield Eagles have announced a change in their management structure which will significantly strengthen both the off field operation and more importantly the player performance capability.

The club have recruited Business Consultant Ken Jones as Chief Executive with Mark Aston becoming Director of Rugby; with the upcoming stadium the club recognises the need to ensure as a business we are ready both commercially and operationally for 2016.imagesourceLVCQT2I2

Ken has an excellent CV having been a Managing Director of several successful businesses and worked with many Blue Chip organisations. Ken recently worked with Featherstone Rovers as a Director and Chair of their foundation.

The move will allow Mark to fully concentrate his efforts on the on-field operation, something he thinks will benefit the club as the sports enters its new era with promotion to Super League back on the agenda.

Aston said: “Ken’s knowledge and experience will help catapult the business side of the club to a different level.

“Going into the new stadium, we need to hit the ground running. As soon as we open the door on that first day, everything needs to be in place.

“It allows me to do what has always been my passion, and that is be a director of rugby, but also a coach.

“I want to coach for as many hours as I can, and develop the structures within the club through the scholarships and the academy.

“It allows myself and Nick Ward to strategically plan the long-term development plan from the first day they come into contact with this club, to when they make their first-team debut.

“It doesn’t mean I won’t be doing work with the business, I will still be going out there and will always be an ambassador. It’s been a huge part of my life and always will be.

“The new structure is upon us. We would love to be the first Championship team to be promoted.

“It will be difficult, but the money at stake by finishing higher up the competition will give us the opportunity to get closer to being a full-time outfit.

“To become better we need to have more time with the players.

“It’s really exciting, because that has always been the dream for the club; to have our own home and to be playing at the highest level possible.”

Ken Jones said: “My role is to ensure that commercially and operationally we are as efficient and as effective as possible.

“I will be working with Mark in partnership to make sure the off-field and on-field activities take us to where we want to be.

“I have spent the last two years as a director of Featherstone Rovers and really enjoyed my time working in the sport.

“When I left there, John Whaling asked whether I would still be interested in working in rugby league, and when he articulated the vision of Sheffield Eagles he won me over.

“I have absolute respect for Mark and what he has achieved over the last 30 years.

“I always had that begrudging admiration for what he and the club have done, because they have consistently punched above their weight.

“Coming to Sheffield represents an opportunity to take, what I believe, is a sleeping giant and move it forward into Super League.

“The potential is definitely there, it will take a lot of hard work but, ultimately, that is the goal.”