There was huge anticipation as the RFU called a press conference with Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson this afternoon.
We knew that Johnno was resigning, but would Andrew follow him out of the door? Many felt that he should have gone a while ago, and that now his position was absolutely untenable.
“I’m absolutely not considering resigning.” Andrew said to a bewildered room.
Andrew was directly asked whether he should be staying on, and whether he ought to be considering his position, and his face suggested that he hadn’t given it a thought. ‘Why would I?’ was the sentiment.
He tried to clear up what exactly his role consists of, saying, “My job is to run the department. It’s a huge department, not just the playing side. It’s Martin’s job to run the England team.”
Then as if that was enough on the matter, he started back on Johnno’s decision and thanked him for his efforts over the last few years.
He didn’t do anything to warm himself to the room of journalists and those watching online, speaking in a supercilious manner, essentially telling everyone that they don’t know what they’re talking about when asking if he should resign.
My favourite quote of the whole charade was Andrew saying that ‘detailed reviews take time’. Don’t we know it, Rob – you seem to spend half of your time conducting them.
In terms of finding Johnno’s successor, Andrew said that he would start the process ‘as soon as I get out of here’, suggesting that he was as uncomfortable as he looked. A board would assess various candidates and then make a decision. How long it would take was anyone’s guess.
The general feeling in the room was that Johnno would leave with his head held high, honourably stepping down after a disappointing campaign, whereas Andrew was arrogantly refusing to leave, that he’s onto a good thing and doesn’t want to give it up.
The fact that he’s not accountable to anyone, and that he sits on the various boards conducting reviews into the campaign with which he was heavily involved is ridiculous, frankly. How can that review be objective about Andrew’s role when it’s Andrew conducting the review? It’s absurd.
Andrew was out of the room as soon as the RFU called time on proceedings, but not out of the front door of HQ.