James Clark to depart Hull FC as chief executive calls time after 15 years service

James Clark will depart Hull FC after 15 years of loyal service to the club.
James Clark will depart Hull FC after 15 years of loyal service to the club. -Credit:SW Pix

James Clark will depart Hull FC after 15 years of loyal service to the club. One of Super League's longest-serving chief executives, Clark entered his 16th season at the Black and Whites this year after joining the club back in 2009.

His departure is perhaps not unexpected following Richie Myler's arrival last month as the club's new director of rugby and ongoing changes at the top of the club being overseen by Adam Pearson, with new investment set to arrive. However, Clark leaves with his head held high after holding many different roles and being a part of many successes at the club.

He has seen it all at Hull FC, with Clark pointing to the club's back-to-back Challenge Cup wins as his greatest triumph. During his time, the club also won the Super League Club of the Year title in 2016 and, last autumn, was graded as one of seven provisional Grade A clubs by IMG.

Working in the background, Clark also steered the club through one of its toughest-ever challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, with the Centre of Excellence programme forming soon after in 2021, and now holding 14 teams across many disciplines of rugby league.

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Speaking on his departure, Clark said: "It is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to leave Hull FC—a club I love dearly and have been incredibly proud to serve—but the time is right for the club and myself. I am grateful to Adam (Pearson) for his understanding and for the opportunity to be part of such a special club, as well as the many fantastic people—staff, players, and coaches—we have had the privilege to call colleagues and friends over the last 15 years.

"I will sorely miss coming into the club every day, especially with the most hardworking, loyal, and committed group of staff you could wish to be a part of. I’d also like to thank the many fans and sponsors for their support, kindness, and appreciation throughout the hard times and the good; their passion and dedication make them second to none.

"The Challenge Cup wins and Derby Days will always be special memories, and whilst we hoped for more consistent on-field performances in recent years, everyone can still be proud of the work we have done as a club through what we all recognise as being one of the most difficult and resource-draining periods in the club’s history.

"We have worked hard to stabilise the business financially with record turnover achievable in this financial year and built one of the best youth programmes in the country, which can become the backbone of a successful homegrown team for many years to come—something I will look back on with great pride as we watch our hard work come to fruition. I firmly believe the club is now well placed to flourish moving forward, and with fresh eyes and new investment, I can only foresee a bright future."

Opening up more about his family, who were a crucial part in his decision, James knows the time is right to spend more time with his wife and children, who have gone through a difficult time and need him more than ever. He continued: "I have given absolutely everything I have to the club, but I recognise the personal toll it has taken on my family and myself.

"After so many years and some recent life-changing events, it is time for me to invest in the parts of my life that have been neglected and enjoy the exciting new opportunities that lie ahead. I wish everyone at the club every success in the future, which it so richly deserves. I know, given time, patience, and the right investment, it will not be long before that success returns again."

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