Politis given Queen’s Birthday Honours
Posted on 01/24/19 6:23 PM
One of rugby league’s most powerful and intriguing figures, Nick Politis, has been recognised with Queen’s Birthday honours.
Politis has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) along with close friend and confidant Phil Gould while Channel Nine commentary veteran Ray Warren received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) – all three for services to rugby league.
In a cut-throat sporting business, Sydney Roosters chairman Politis is renowned as one of the most ruthless, having hired and fired some of the biggest names in the game.
After a nearly 40-year association with the Roosters, the man known as Uncle Nick or The Godfather remains one of the most powerful and influential figures, though he is somewhat of a mystery man, rarely giving interviews or speaking publicly.
In 1974 the highly successful Sydney businessman, with an estimated wealth in excess of $200 million, transformed City Ford into one of the largest car dealerships in the country.
Two years later, Politis became the first jersey sponsor of a rugby league club, when City Ford historically appeared on the front of the Eastern Suburbs Roosters jumpers.
In 1993, he took over as club chairman and he has overseen premierships in 2002 and 2013.
He was responsible for bringing powerful coach Gould and superstar five-eighth Brad Fittler to the club in the mid-1990s.
It was Politis’ handshake deal with New Zealand dual international Sonny Bill Williams that ensured one of the world’s best football players returned to the NRL last year to ignite the Roosters’ premiership charge.
But he has never hesitated making the tough decisions.
He’s sacked Ricky Stuart, Brian Smith and even one of his closest friends, Fittler, who was coaching the side during a forgettable period.
Gould, a former player and now administrator and commentator, was one of the most successful coaches of all time, winning two premierships and six State of Origin series with NSW.
Since joining Penrith as their general manager, Gould has overseen a significant rebuilding at the NRL club.
Popular caller Warren first broadcast the Amco Cup on Channel 10 in 1974, and has built a durable career in commentary on rugby league as well as racing and swimming.