WIDNES Vikings Board of Directors have appointed Phil Finney as the club’s new CEO.

Finney has been with the club since 2009, initially as Player Performance Manager before becoming Head of Youth Performance and was more recently named Performance Director.

A lifelong fan of the club, the Vikings new CEO has helped develop the current academy system over the last 10 years, which has produced 17 of this season’s first team squad.

Chris Price, Widnes Vikings Chairman, said: “Phil is Widnes through and through, from growing up in the town as a supporter of the club to giving 10 years of outstanding service in a number of roles. His passion for the club is second to none and having worked alongside him over the past few weeks I have seen first hand just what this club means to him.

“During that time, it has become apparent that he has a number of great and ambitious ideas that we would like to come to fruition. His drive and enthusiasm in everything he does will help us make the club successful in the near and distant future.

“The administrators claimed that the club was ‘rudderless’ when they were appointed, and we know that Phil is the perfect person to lead the Vikings into a brighter future. His tireless work through a difficult period for him and the club played an integral role in keeping this great club alive, and we’re delighted to announce he will be our new CEO.”

Phil Finney, Widnes Vikings CEO, added: “I am very privileged and honoured to be offered a position of such importance in a club of such significance. I am a Widnesian and involved with the sport because of the impact the club had on me as a child, so to be able to work in any capacity at this club is a privilege.

“To have an opportunity to shape the future of the club alongside the staff, new board and the fans is something I am really excited about.

“We have seen in recent weeks the power of the collective effort of the community to support the club and what the club means to the people of the town. We all want to make sure that we create a club that the community can be proud of and we will all be striving to achieve this.

“There will be a lot of hard work ahead of us all but I am confident that with the support of the new board, the staff and the fans we will get ourselves back on track.”