The Western Weekender can reveal that Penrith Panthers CEO Corey Payne is set to part ways with the club.
The shock development comes just four months after Payne, a former first grade footballer, was appointed to become one of the youngest CEOs in the game’s history.
His appointment attracted huge interest back in April with Phil Gould declaring the former Canterbury and Dragons player a “natural fit” with Panthers.
Exactly what’s gone wrong at Panthers HQ to result in his departure is not known, but the club is expected to release a carefully worded statement on Monday.
It is not known whether Payne has resigned or if the decision was made by Panthers.
The news comes less than 24 hours before Penrith is set to do battle with Newcastle in an important game at Hunter Stadium.
Payne’s departure means the Panthers have lost three CEOs in just 12 months.
Justin Pascoe joined the Wests Tigers in September last year while Warren Wilson left in strange circumstances earlier this year.
The Weekender has spoken to both Panthers Chairman Dave O’Neill and Club CEO Brian Fletcher, but neither were willing to comment this morning.
The Weekender understands a meeting has been scheduled between Panthers and Payne tomorrow morning.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.