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New CEO appointed to Supporters Direct

Advances for the Trust movement

Announcement by Supporters Direct

The Board of Directors of Supporters Direct is pleased to announce the appointment of Phil French as its new Chief Executive.

The appointment comes at an important time for the organisations development as it seeks to build on the 125 Supporters Trusts in operation and help ensure that Supporters Direct becomes an ever more powerful and responsible force in the game.

Speaking about the appointment, the Chair of Supporters Direct, Andy Burnham said, "With such a high-profile figure taking the reins, this appointment puts the seal on the advances made in the game by Supporters Direct since its inception in 2000. Phils reputation across football in particular through his work in the Premier League and in the wider game through his involvement in helping to set up the Football Foundation is well known. In Phil joining us here, it is a clear signal that we are ready to move the organisation to the next stage of its development as a key stakeholder in the game."

Paying tribute to his predecessor, Brian Lomax, Burnham said, "Brian was and remains an inspirational figure in the Supporters Trust Movement. It was his vision that gave fans across the country the confidence to speak out and become directly involved in running their own football clubs. I know that Brian will be as elated with this appointment as I am, and I know that Phil will take his vision and build on it."

Speaking about his new role, Phil French paid tribute to the work of Supporters Direct and its 125 member trusts, saying, "This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of this growing and vibrant part of the game. What Supporters Direct has achieved in such a short time has been nothing short of remarkable. The constructive way that supporters across the country have become involved and engaged with their clubs is an example of what can be done.

"I want to build on this momentum to ensure the contribution of Supporters Trusts is made at the very top level of the game. Indeed we have a massive opportunity to bring to a wider stage the knowledge, enthusiasm and the skills that supporters have consolidated in their work with their own football clubs. I will also welcome the opportunity to work closely with the authorities in Scotland, where the Trust Movement has made great strides in giving fans a voice they have rarely had in the past."

The Director of Public Policy of the Premier League was one of the founders of Supporters Direct back in March 2000 where he helped set up and run the organisation for its first six months of operation.

15 April 2005

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