Tradition, not V’landys, a focus for incoming VRC boss Steve Rosich


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V’landys has been critical of the VRC in recent years, accusing the club of putting itself before the good of the racing industry, in particular its reluctance to move from the first week of November and its decision to break away from Channel Seven and sign a separate deal with Channel 10 for its Melbourne Cup Carnival rights.

While Rosich, at the moment an outsider, didn’t reveal his perception of V’landys, he said he had plenty of experience working in a competitive, two-club AFL town in Perth.

“I think the VRC has got a really good track record of putting the national interests the top of the list, so that’ll certainly be my aim, to not only look after the VRC’s interest but ensure that working with the management team and board that they fit in with the national interests of the sport,” he said.

“But I come from an AFL environment where it’s very competitive so a competitive landscape is something I’m used to.”

While Rosich says he wants to innovate and take racing at Victoria’s premier racetrack to the next level, heritage and tradition will be a key focus when he becomes the 13th CEO in the club’s 156-year history.

“The overriding tenet of the club is its tradition and that will be first and foremost a focus for me and the team going forward,” Rosich said.

Vow And Declare won a thrilling finish to take out the Melbourne Cup.

Vow And Declare won a thrilling finish to take out the Melbourne Cup.Credit:Getty Images

“There’s many strengths which go back to its history, brand and reputation so we’re looking forward to making sure that with our team we continue to ensure their strengths for many years into the future.

“It’s how do we maintain the heritage and significance of being the premier racing product in this country and one of the best in the world and into the future continue to innovate to make sure it’s relevant and even more successful in the future.”

The VRC was headstrong in not moving the Melbourne Cup carnival from the first week of November this year, which led to Racing Victoria knocking back a Melbourne Racing Club proposal to revamp the upcoming spring carnival to avoid a clash with AFL finals.

Rosich said, as an outsider looking in, he too would have supported the club’s decision to keep its feature race week in November.

“It will be good for me to get other peoples’ view on that,” he said.

“As someone who hasn’t started in the organisation and is looking from the outside, I’m not sure I see a reason to change.

“It was obviously quite a considered process the VRC went through to form their view. It’s great to see tradition has been maintained even in this challenging year. In terms of the Lexus Melbourne Cup, to still hold it on the first Tuesday of November this year I think is a great thing.”

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Rosich, who had been in conversations with chairman Amanda Elliott for four years about one day working at the club, believed he would have the rein to both uphold tradition and innovate at the VRC.

“I think you can do both,” he said.

“In terms of new opportunities and meeting the challenges, I’ve been afforded a great opportunity.

“I’m someone with plenty of energy and I’ve got the opportunity to look at it with fresh eyes and perspective; it’s really exciting.”

Rosich and his family will make their move from Perth in early August.

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