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Jon Dutton

Career Path: Chief Executive, Rugby League Cup 2021
Location: Manchester, UK

I have been fortunate to work in sport since graduating. My first job was working for the PGA European Golf Tour. I did this for just over five years with the highlight being the 1997 Ryder Cup in Valderrama, Spain. I then went onto to become Chief Executive at Manchester FA which included a secondment to UEFA for the 2003 Champions League Final at Old Trafford. I left The FA and ran my own Sports Consultancy company for just under six years before moving into Rugby League.

I was the Operations Director for the Rugby League World Cup 2013. Following this role I was the Director of Projects and People for the Rugby Football League which included specialist roles as Tournament Director for the last Rugby League Four Nations tournament in 2016 and International Federation Tournament Commissioner for the Rugby League World Cup in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 2017. In 2014 I undertook a secondment as Director of Readiness for the Tour de France Grand Depart. I started my current role on a full time basis in February 2018.

What are you doing now?Jon Dutton

As Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, my role is to lead delivery of the biggest and best ever tournament. I have been involved in the project since the inception in late 2015 having successfully led the bid for the tournament including a £25m funding award from HM Government. I am also a member of UK Sport Major Events Panel, a specialist advisory body. Its main purpose is to represent the interests of UK Sport by making major event investment recommendations to the UK Sport Board.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I was attracted to Newcastle as a place but also the course offered the right blend of management based learning to set me up for success with my career.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There were lots of opportunities to get valuable experience. We undertook several field trips plus a term spent on work placement. There was a mixture of lectures and team projects.

How connected was your course with industry?

There was a work placement opportunity plus several projects which gave the chance to work in the industry.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placement (Gateshead Council) offered me direct and relevant experience. I worked with the first ever Rugby League Development Officer and spent six weeks working on a blend of planning, coaching and development work. The role offered a great insight into a working environment.

What was the best thing about your course?

The diversity of experiences from lectures to field trips, and practical based learning.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying gave me transferable experience that hugely helped when I went into the world of work. I also took the opportunity to become Sports Secretary of the Student Union and this gave me some valuable learning experiences.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

All of the management modules gave me tools which have helped in my career. This includes marketing and financial management.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The city, the people I met and the freedom of being a student. Great memories. I also ran the Rugby League team which was a brilliant team.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Enjoy every moment. Being a student is a huge privilege, throw yourself into meeting new people and having rich life experiences that will stay with you forever.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Enjoyable, enriching and successful.

For more information about me visit:

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