Dave Donaghy has a start date after a messy exit from Melbourne. Picture: AAP Images
Dave Donaghy has a start date after a messy exit from Melbourne. Picture: AAP Images

Revealed: New Broncos CEO’s start date

The Broncos are on the verge of finalising their long-running CEO standoff after Brisbane boss Paul White put an end-date on his decade-long tenure.

The Courier-Mail can reveal White will exit the Broncos at the end of February, paving the way for Melbourne Storm recruit Dave Donaghy to take the reins at Red Hill in March.

Donaghy is in the final stages of negotiating his exit from the Storm, with the Broncos preparing to make a formal announcement on the leadership change.

There could be a brief period in early March where the Broncos do not have a CEO, however it is not expected to exceed a few weeks.

White's 10-year stint at the helm of the Broncos was originally slated to end on October 31 last year.

But Brisbane's pursuit of Donaghy and Storm coach Craig Bellamy angered Melbourne powerbrokers, who have played hardball over the CEO's move.

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Dave Donaghy’s start date with the Broncos is locked in. Picture: AAP Images
Dave Donaghy’s start date with the Broncos is locked in. Picture: AAP Images

White, who became a grandfather in November, delayed his exit and agreed to remain in charge of the Broncos until January 31. He will now stay on for a further month.

Donaghy's contract with the Storm expires on Sunday (January 31) and while it includes a non-compete clause, it is expected he will reach an agreement with Melbourne to spend about a month between jobs.

Donaghy is expected to be banned from poaching Melbourne staff to join the Broncos as part of the agreement.

While the transition has been far from smooth, the Broncos and Donaghy are now finally set to start a new era of leadership.

Donaghy will step into the job on the back of Brisbane's worst ever season after the Broncos collected last year's wooden spoon following the sacking of coach Anthony Seibold.

White was hoping to complete a handover period with Donaghy, but that will not be the case given the delays in the appointment.

While White will leave the Broncos on good terms, there is a feeling the time has come for him to move on and there is no point further delaying his departure with the 2021 NRL season to kick-off in March.

Outgoing Brisbane CEO Paul White. Picture: Attila Csaszar
Outgoing Brisbane CEO Paul White. Picture: Attila Csaszar

It is possible the Broncos will appoint an interim CEO for the period between White's departure and Donaghy's arrival.

After the Broncos secured Donaghy as White's successor last year, Storm chairman Matt Tripp declared he would enforce the exit conditions of his contract.

That threatened to delay Donaghy's arrival at the Broncos for up to six months, however the parties are nearing an agreement to expedite the move.

Donaghy spent the bulk of the 2020 NRL season living in Noosa after the Storm were forced to relocate to the Sunshine Coast during Melbourne's second wave of COVID-19.

He is now back in Queensland permanently and ready to take on one of Australian sport's biggest roles ahead of what shapes as a huge season for the Broncos.


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