Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Ambitious new Stormers boss details plan to secure long term future

Johan le Roux faced the media for the first time in Cape Town this week and outlined his plans for the Stormers going forward.

New Stormers CEO Johan le Roux has an ambitious plan to turn the union into a stable, self-sustaining powerhouse over the coming years.

Le Roux was recently appointed to the union’s vacant CEO position after the equity deal, which saw the Red Disa Consortium secure a controlling shareholding in the Stormers, was completed late last month.

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Le Roux faced the media for the first time in Cape Town this week and outlined his plans for the Stormers going forward, while he was also full of praise for what they have achieved in recent years despite a number of hardships.

“Consistent on-field success can only be achieved through financial stability off the field, which is why what Dobbo (Director of Rugby John Dobson) and his team have achieved over the past three seasons is so widely admired,” said Le Roux.

“To achieve what they have without that financial stability is amazing, but I don’t think it is sustainable.”

Multi-level plan

Le Roux has thus devised a multi-level plan to grow the Stormers brand and support base, while improving the team and aims to deliver on a number of  long term ideas.

“First we want to manage Stormers rugby responsibly and bring financial stability to the company. Then drive to break even over the next three years with the capital investment from the Red Disa Consortium.

“Second is to continue to prioritise development and retention of local talent, over recruiting established stars from elsewhere.

“This entails strengthening the communication with our feeder system, which is the schools, universities and clubs, as well as the possible establishment of the Stormers rugby academy.

“Third is to provide the Director of Rugby with a steadily growing rugby budget, sufficient for him to retain the bulk of his current squad.

“We want to increase cohesion and to selectively recruit if there is a specific requirement or opportunity, as we did with Steven Kitshoff and I think we are all delighted to have secured his services and see him back in Cape Town soon.

Fan engagement

“Lastly we want to build an organisation that obsesses over the needs and wants of our fans. The move from Newlands to the Cape Town Stadium along with Covid really hurt our historically successful season ticket and hospitality programmes.

“But it also invited a whole new dimension of fans to our stadium because of the whole family friendly nature of this stadium and this environment.

“So what we need to do is embrace the challenge and develop new products and experiences to lure back the old Newlands faithful, while building on our new diverse fanbase.

“With a winning team and a committed and growing fanbase the development of a sustainable business model is achievable. With stability both financially and in the boardroom we believe we can create a compelling case for local business to get behind the team like in the past.

“We will need the support of local business if we want to build a world class team that fans can be proud of. So I am really looking forward to helping the Stormers take its rightful seat at the high table of world club rugby and I hope we can assist each other along the way.”

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