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Key new appointments at Exeter City FC

The appointment of three new directors and a chief commercial officer will bring new skills and strengths to Exeter City Football Club, as it prepares for the start of the 2021/22 season.

The club has recently examined its organisational structure and introduced the new positions to bring additional experience to its board.

Richard Pym, chair of the board at Exeter City FC, said: “We are delighted to have made these significant board appointments. All three new directors bring important skills to the board and will not only strengthen our knowledge but also help examine and challenge our decisions and actions. Importantly, all three have strong connections to the city and are drawn to work with us because of our community ownership model.”

The new directors, who are all unpaid, are:

Jonathan Hart, who was CEO of Thorntons Plc, prior to its sale to Ferrero in June 2015. He currently chairs Crussh, the leading London-based healthy food and juice bar chain and is also an active member of the RNLI Council. Jonathan has also held senior roles at Dixons, Woolworths, Abbey and Caffé Nero. He has had a home in Devon for more than 20 years and splits his time between there and Hertfordshire.

Jeremy Tipper, who went to school in Exeter, is an experienced chair and non-executive director in the technology, business services and charitable sectors. Jeremy was founder and CEO of Capital Consulting, a pioneer in the recruitment process outsourcing industry before founding Talent Collective, a talent consulting business later acquired by Alexander Mann Solutions.

Clive Bawden, who also went to school in Exeter, is a chartered accountant with extensive board experience. Clive now works with early-stage entrepreneurial firms, including Queen’s award-winning Warwick Music Group. In a voluntary capacity he chairs audit and risk at Birmingham Museums’ Trust, is a former director of Warwickshire Cricket, with responsibility for women and girls’ cricket, and a senior independent non-executive director of SkateboardGB, where as a founding director he developed governance, risk and finance process from scratch.

The club has also appointed a new chief commercial officer, Darren Henderson. Darren grew up in Dawlish and spent his Saturdays standing in the Cowshed at St James Park. He is former senior vice president of marketing at Sony Music, having re-formed Take That, worked with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Andy Williams.

Darren also ran a campaign for SET Live, a global experiential marketing agency which is part of WPP, touring the Champions League Trophy around the world for Heineken. More recently, he ran a community engagement agency, working with charities and the public sector. As Chief Commercial Officer, Darren will look after ticketing, hospitality, marketing, commercial and growing attendance at St James Park.

Richard added: “Darren brings unique skills and experience to our senior management team at the club. In the short time he has been with the club, he has already made fantastic progress and we’re looking forward to seeing his plans to develop our fan engagement and grow the club’s commercial opportunities over the coming months. We want great football at St James Park and Darren’s role is quite simply to generate the commercial revenues to pay for it and to grow our supporter base in collaboration with our Supporters’ Trust owners.”

Additionally, the club has made three appointments to its internal audit team, which assists the board Risk and Compliance Committee which will now be chaired by Clive Bawden; they are Graham Ayres, Simon Moore and Andrew Barge, who are all volunteers. The committee has been established to oversee the club’s risk and control framework and will carry out professional internal audits which will independently review all the key controls operating within the club.

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