Michael Redman to stand down as Blues chief executive

Blues chief executive Michael Redman has fallen on his sword after six unproductive years in the role.

 Amid conjecture that the Blues boss was in line to be the next to go as the shakeup at the under-performing franchise continues, Redman announced his resignation from the top job in a media release on Tuesday.

A search for a successor capable of leading the franchise out of its seemingly permanent place in the basement of New Zealand rugby will begin immediately.

Redman joined the Blues in October 2013 and during that time presided over a succession of lowly finishes in Super Rugby. They have not placed better than 9th overall (in 2017) during his time in the role.

The Blues finished bottom of the New Zealand conference every season under Redman's watch, coming in 10th overall in 2014, 14th in '15, 11th in '16, 9th in '17, 14th in '18 and 13th in '19. They have not made the post-season since 2011.

"From the outset I initially envisaged five seasons but it was vitally important to provide stable leadership for our staff and sponsors during this last 12 months of unprecedented shareholder, governance and coaching changes," Redman said in a release from the Blues.

"But I believe it is now important the Blues get the opportunity to appoint someone to lead the club for the next five-plus years – and that is not me."

Ironically, he may – or may not – have made his most important move in charge of the club in one of his final acts, with the signing of All Blacks superstar Beauden Barrett on a long-term deal. But even that has major question marks over it with Barrett's late arrival in 2020 and allowance of a sabbatical at some stage during the period.

Redman admitted the Blues' singular lack of success on the playing field in his time had been a frustration, but, as has become the norm at the franchise, he predicted the turnaround was at hand.

That's a tune that has been heard many, many times before over the Blues' recent history.

"Now we have just signed one of the best players in the world. We have fantastic staff and I know success is just around the corner," he declared.

Blues board chairman Don Mackinnon said Redman had achieved some gains in his time with the franchise.

"Despite facing numerous challenges, Michael has managed to grow our commercial revenue and oversee our move to a stunning facility that will set the club up for decades to come. He has led with integrity and intelligence."

NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew said Redman had "steered the organisation through some challenging periods" and listed his work on the collective employment agreement, player contracting and establishing a "world-class base" as his major achievements.

Redman will leave the club in September after season reviews and budgets are completed.

"The big rocks are in place for next season, both on and off the field," he said. "We have some exciting announcements regarding our 2020 draw and Auckland Rugby are using our training facility starting in a few weeks. So, someone can come in and have time to get their feet under the desk."

Mackinnon confirmed the process to recruit a new CEO would begin immediately.