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Back to the future? Bulldogs interview Ray Dib for CEO role

The football club, which was a financial powerhouse under Dib’s chairmanship – playing in five consecutive finals series including two grand finals – has struggled financially since his departure.

A number of Canterbury representatives have been pleading with Dib to return to the club as a director following the demise of the Andersons at the end of last year, but he has been reluctant to get involved until now.

Ray Dib has plenty of close friends in the game, including Roosters chairman Nick Politis.

Ray Dib has plenty of close friends in the game, including Roosters chairman Nick Politis.Credit:Daniel Munoz

It’s understood Dib, who has completed an EMBA since his exit from the Canterbury football and leagues club boards, presented his vision for the future to directors last week. While there is support for Dib on the board, there are some opposed to the idea of having such a strong voice as chief executive.

Dib did not respond to calls or texts on Sunday, while new Canterbury chairman John Khoury refused to discuss the club’s recruitment process.

Clark was the chief operating officer at NSWRL from 2015 to 2020, having been shown the door just three weeks out from the start of last year’s State of Origin series as the axe fell on several high-level officials due to the financial toll of COVID-19 on the state body.

Rodwell, who played first grade for the Knights, Western Reds, Dragons and Panthers, recently missed out on the St George Illawarra CEO role filled by Ryan Webb.

Former Australian cricketer Stuart Clark was interviewed by the Bulldogs last week.

Former Australian cricketer Stuart Clark was interviewed by the Bulldogs last week.Credit:AP

Rodwell is the general manager of insurance NSW for Employers Mutual Limited – the insurance company run by former Dragons player and ex-ARL commissioner Mark Coyne. Rodwell also partnered Barrett in the halves at the Dragons in their one season together at the joint venture in 1999.

Warburton has strong support internally having impressed during his seven years at the club, coincidentally under the leadership of the Dib regime.

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As for Dib, his reign was ultimately brought to an end as a result of the decision to re-sign former coach Des Hasler, who also forked out $1.2 million for Kieran Foran for three years. Hasler’s time at the Bulldogs ended in an ugly pay-out dispute, which eventually saw the chairman overthrown.

The club hoped a changing of the guard would bring with it success, however the Bulldogs finished 12th in 2018 and 2019, dropping to 15th last year before parting ways with coach Dean Pay in favour of Barrett.

Following Dib’s departure in 2018, the Bulldogs lost a number of sponsors – including car manufacturer Kia to the Brisbane Broncos – and played most of last season without a major sponsor until procuring Laundy Hotels on one of the cheapest deals in the NRL.

Part of the reason David Klemmer left Belmore was because a lucrative third-party arrangement fell through after a wealthy backer pulled out in response to Dib’s demise, such was his stance in the community.

Canterbury are expected to finalise the chief executive’s appointment as early as this week following the decision to part ways with Hill in January.

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