Former Penrith Panthers chief executive Corey Payne.PENRITH Panthers are reeling after theresignation of chief executive Corey Payne on Tuesday.

The Panthers have released a statement indicating Payne has left the club in order to pursue business a opportunityoverseas.

“Corey, who already has significant overseas academic qualification, wishes to pursue overseas business opportunities that have recently materialised,” a club statement said.

“In these circumstances the club does not wish to stand in the way of Corey pursuing these overseas opportunities and fulfilling his potential.

“The club wishes Corey, a member of the Panthers family, every future success.”

Payne, 32, became the youngest chief executive in NRL historyin when he was announced as the Panthers’ boss inApril. It seemed as if the former St George, Canterbury and Tigers back-rower would be groomed as the long-term successor to general manager Phil Gould.

However, after just four months inthe job he has joined the revolving door at a club which has now been through four chief executives in the past 12 months.

Rumours emerged this week suggesting board members have attempted to force Payne out of the job in recent weeks but those claims have been denied by senior club officials.

Payne made headlines last month when he penned a letter to Panthers fans following the club’s failure to secure hosting rights to matches in next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

The bizarre letter took aim at the NRL for its decision to take games away from rugby league heartland anddetailed Payne’s relationship with western Sydney.

“My home is Australia’s multicultural melting pot with in excess of 180 languages spoken, where 39% of residents speak a language other than English. We are a dynamic bunch,” he wrote in the letter.

“We are home to Australia’s largest Indigenous population.

“Through the development and work of Celestino Science Park, Badgerys Creek Airport and WestConnex, limitless opportunities and growth will be created in our backyard.”

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