Departing Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan predicts bright future for club under Mike Danson: ‘He will go superbly’
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At a time where many are anticipating a new era of Super League dominance from the Warriors, much like the one achieved by rivals St Helens from 2019 to 2022, Lenagan shares the vision of a bright future ahead for the town’s rugby league side.
His 16-year tenure comes to an official end on November 30, with local businessman Danson, founder and CEO of GlobalData PLC, set to take over as the club’s new 100% owner. Professor Chris Brookes is set to step up as the new chairman.
Lenagan saw Warriors claim three Challenge Cups, four League Leaders’ Shields, five Super League titles and a World Club Challenge after buying the club from Dave Whelan at the end of 2007.
And speaking to Total Rugby League, the 77-year-old believes he leaves the club in safe hands under Danson and in a positive position, with 2023 attendances having increased by an impressive 10% on the previous campaign at the DW Stadium.
“Mike is a great leader for the future,” Lenagan told Total Rugby League.
“I’ll carry on as a fan, because you never stop being a fan if you’re a Wiganer and I’m a native Wiganer anyway, so I shall carry on coming to games.
“But I’m really pleased with the state of the club I’m handing over.
“That’s what you’re judged by – it’s not what you’ve achieved.
“Mike has been a 25 per cent shareholder for the last three years, he’s been a 49 per cent shareholder for the last 18 months, so it’s a proper business transition and it’s worked very well.
“Mike’s a very nice man indeed. He’s got lots of integrity and lots of business skills.
“He believes in the community, he believes in education, he believes in the academy. He and I have many similarities.
“I’m not saying he’s an image of me, I’m more of an image of him, albeit I’m older than him. But we’re very similar types of people and I think he will go superbly at Wigan [Warriors].”