In the news

Kelly Fairweather appointed ITF Chief Operating Officer – 26 September 2016

ITF President David Haggerty has announced that Kelly Fairweather will become ITF Chief Operating Officer effective 1 January 2017. Fairweather is currently Chief Executive Officer of the International Hockey Federation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Nolan Partners opens US offices – 20 June 2016

Executive search firm Nolan Partners has announced the opening of its operation in North America with offices in L.A. and N.Y. and the appointment of Chad Biagini as Nolan Partners North American Managing Director. Biagini has repped UFC, WWE, Special Olympics and teams across MLB, NHL, MLS and NFL.


Nolan Partners opens US offices – 17 June 2016

Nolan Partners has announced the opening of its operation in North America with offices in Los Angeles and New York and the appointment, with immediate effect, of Chad Biagini as Managing Director of Nolan Partners North America.

Chad brings over 10 years’ experience in executive search representing a range of sports clients including Ultimate Fighting Championship, WWE, Special Olympics, and teams across Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and the NFL.

Throughout his career in search, Chad has also placed more than 200 senior executives in other industries such as consumer products, financial services, technology, private equity, hospitality, non-profit, media & entertainment.

Read more at 

Manchester United revamp scouting network  with 40 appointments worldwide – 25 April 2016

The root-and-branch revamp of Manchester United’s scouting system will see up to 40 appointments around the globe in an initiative started by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The wholesale changes from the tight-knit Sir Alex Ferguson era will see the academy and first-team talent identification operations merged to create a more efficient approach in order to attract the best prospects in world football.

Sport headhunters Nolan Partners are working with United in recruiting fresh scouts in every territory.


The Grand Women’s Summit, Aintree Racecourse – 8 April 2016

“Strengthening the number of women in leadership roles in sport is key to addressing gender balance at all levels”, said Judy Murray, one of the most influential figures in tennis, at today’s second Grand Women’s Summit held on ladies day of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.

Murray joined Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Shelley Alexander; BBC editorial lead for women’s sport and Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Board Nick Rust on the panel, hosted by Channel 4 Racing’s Tanya Stevenson. 125 delegates heard from the speaker’s experiences and views on gender diversity in sport at the summit hosted by Aintree Racecourse and Women in Racing.Read more at

A video showcasing the different roles of women involved in horseracing by Women in Racing.

Lancashire Strengthen Commercial Team – 1 December 2015

Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire County Cricket Club’s global search for a new Sales and Marketing Director has culminated in the appointment of Justin Hopwood, who joins from the market-leading commercial ticketing company – the Mike Burton Group, where he was Head of Sales and Marketing and worked on major joint venture companies with both England Rugby and the British & Irish Lions.

Nolan Partners Performance Team partners Leaders to help place senior performance practitioners in sport – 10 November 2015

Nolan Partners, the leading executive search firm in Europe dedicated to sport is delighted to announce a 3 year strategic partnership with Leaders to develop its already fast growing performance business.

Traditionally franchise owners and CEO’s in sport have used Executive search firms to identify and place appropriate talent on the business side to support the development of their organisations. However, over the last 10 years, the sports industry has seen a surge in the number and diversity of senior appointments on the performance side of sport, with many appointments requiring a global search across multiple sports, geographies and related industries.

Nolan Partners, who are celebrating their 10th year in sport, have become a leader in advising on such placements, assisting clients through the acquisition of specialist talent such as Medics, Sports Scientists, Performance Directors, Technical Directors and player-athlete recruitment professionals.

With clients including Liverpool FC, Arsenal FC, Loughborough University, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Manchester City FC, The Aspire Academy and The FA already, Nolan Partners and Leaders believe the partnership will offer a much needed service to other organisations who want to gain a competitive advantage through the acquisition of world class talent.

Grosvenor Casinos appoints new Sales & Marketing Director – 31 October 2015

Grosvenor Casinos is pleased to announce the appointment of Jo Blundell as the new Sales and Marketing Director. Officially taking up her role on the 2nd November, Jo will join the executive team as Grosvenor Casinos and will have direct responsibility for the Sales and Marketing functions, as well as Retail VPs.

Jo joined the business having previously been positioned in marketing creative agencies, as well as operating in senior marketing roles across retail businesses such as Regus, Burger King, 118 118 and McDonalds. Jo benefits from a wealth of experience in retail, online and multi-platform engagement, as well as growing a sales function to deliver increased revenues. Read more at

Weatherbys Bank appoints Nicola Gifford as Head of Marketing – 30 October 2015

Weatherbys Bank are delighted to announce the appointment of Nicola Gifford to the role of Head of Marketing for Weatherbys Bank.

…Nicola’s thirty-year marketing career spans property, art and luxury, notably creating unrivalled client relation and acquisition campaigns for prestigious international brands. Read more at 

Gavin Jefferies appointed as BHA Director of Communications – 26 October 2015

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is delighted to announce that Gavin Jefferies has been appointed to the new position of Director of Communications, following an extensive search led by Nolan Partners.

A keen horseracing fan, Gavin joins the BHA from HM Revenue and Customs, where he has been Deputy Director of Corporate Communications and Head of External Affairs since March 2012. He will take up his role at the BHA in January 2016. Read more at

British Horseracing Authority announces Executive restructure – 23 June 2015

The BHA has today outlined details of a number of changes within its Executive team, designed to best position the organisation to deliver on its responsibilities towards the sport, and play its part in the future growth of British Racing.

The restructure is the result of a review carried out by the BHA’s Chief Executive Nick Rust, now five months into the role, in conjunction with the existing Executive Team. The organisation has been developing a set of strategic goals, and associated business plans for the next 18 months, details of which will be published next month. Read more at

Rank Group appoints Anna Shirley as Marketing Director of Mecca Bingo – 27 May 2015

Rank Group plc retail and digital bingo operator Mecca Bingo, has confirmed the appointment of Anna Shirley as Marketing Director of the Mecca Bingo division from 3rd August 2015.

Shirley joins from Sainsbury’s, where she has held a number of senior marketing positions over the last 13 years, including Head of National Advertising, Head of Own Brand Marketing, Head of Local Marketing and most recently Head of Customer Experience. Read more at

Nick Caplin appointed ASA Director of Participation – 20 April 2015

The ASA has appointed Nick Caplin to lead on growing swimming and aquatics participation in England.

As Director of Participation, Caplin will be responsible for developing and implementing the organisation’s strategic, insight-led, plan to encourage more people across the country to swim more regularly and take advantage of all the social and health benefits that swimming provides.

Caplin joins the ASA from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (PlayStation) where he was formerly the Director of Communications. Read more at 

British Horseracing Authority banks on Rust to boost finances – 6 November 2014

BHA Chairman Steve Harman believes incoming Chief Executive Nick Rust can play a key role in improving racing’s finances as he insisted he been hired for his business skills and love of horseracing, not because of his betting industry background…

…The initial list of applicants to take over from Paul Bittar as head of the governing body was whittled down to 11 and then a final shortlist of four, from which Rust was finally chosen and recommended to the BHA Board by the nominations committee of Harman, Racecourse Association Chairman Ian Barlow and Racecourse Owners Association Chief Executive Rachel Hood.

Harman said: “The field he was up against was one of the highest quality chief executive fields I have ever come across – and I have come across a few in my life. One of the most difficult things was actually saying thank you but no to the other three. They were absolutely outstanding and he was up against an incredibly competitive field.” Racing Post 6th November 2014

Nick Rust appointed Chief Executive Officer of the British Horseracing Authority – 5 November 2014

Nick Rust has been appointed Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the sport’s governing and regulatory body. He will join BHA from Ladbrokes PLC, where he is currently Managing Director, Retail. The appointment has been made by the BHA Board, following a thorough search and a recommendation by BHA’s Nominations Committee. He is expected to join BHA when he becomes available from Ladbrokes, in early 2015. Read more at

Nolan Partners hired to find new British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Officer – 6 August 2014

The British Horseracing Authority has hired executive search firm Nolan Partners to uncover its new Chief Executive Officer, after current chief Paul Bittar announced that he would be stepping down for the role in early 2015 – after three years at the helm.

The British Horseracing Authority have previously worked with Nolan Partners and were delighted with the results: ‘We chose Nolan Partners to work with us on finding a Chairman and Chief Executive for the new Authority as we believed they brought an unparalleled ability to manage the complex stakeholder interests helping us build the new Board’. Read more at

Newbury Racecourse appoints new Chief Executive Officer – 13 December 2013

The Board of Newbury Racecourse PLC is pleased to announce the appointment of Julian Thick as Chief Executive with effect from 16 December 2013.

Over the last 20 years Julian Thick, 43 has held a number of senior roles in the racing industry having been Managing Director of Aintree, Sandown and Kempton Park racecourses as well as a board member of Jockey Club Racecourses. Read more at

Derby County appoint new Finance Director – 11 September 2013

Derby County have appointed Stephen Pearce as the club’s new Finance Director.

Pearce will take up his post at Pride Park Stadium on Monday 30th September 2013 after agreeing to join the Rams from Barclays Premier League side Chelsea. Read more at

LFC appoint Chief Financial Officer – 17 June 2013

Liverpool Football Club has appointed Andy Hughes as Chief Financial Officer to lead the club’s financial operations.

Andy brings a wealth of global experience to the club having held senior positions at Hilton Hotels and the Cendant Corporation. He originally trained with Ernst & Young and most recently was chief financial officer at Guoman and Thistle Hotels.

Dyke to replace David Bernstein as FA Chairman – 21 March 2013

Former BBC director general Greg Dyke is set to be named chairman of The Football Association.

Dyke, who must stand down as Brentford chairman to take on this role, will take over from Bernstein in July.

“I am very excited to take on this role with The FA. Football has always been a big part of my life,” said Dkye. Read more at

RFL appoints ex-FA boss Brian Barwick as Chairman – 30 January 2013

Former Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick has been appointed as chairman of the Rugby Football League.

Barwick, who held senior sport posts at broadcasters BBC and ITV, replaces interim chairman Maurice Watkins in a non-executive capacity.

“I am absolutely delighted to accept the position as the new chairman of the RFL,” Barwick said. “Rugby league is a sport I have a genuine respect and affection for.” Read more at

BT arrival a ‘threat and an opportunity’ for BBC – 25 September 2012

Speaking at the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club on Tuesday morning, Barbara Slater, BBC’s Director of Sport, said that the introduction of BT into the sport rights field represented both ‘a threat and an opportunity’ to the BBC, with the possibility of collaborations and partnerships offset against more competition for top-class sport rights. Read more at

Lancashire name new Chief Executive – 20 September 2012

Daniel Gidney is the man charged with guiding Lancashire into a new era after being named as the club’s chief executive.

The 43-year-old, who for the past six years has filled the same role at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, will take over at Old Trafford from Jim Cumbes, who is retiring in December… Read more at Manchester Evening News

“Cycling is a cleaner sport”: Tour de France star Cavendish says the sport is cleaner than ever – 19 June 2012

Isle of Man cyclist says improved drug testing has helped clean up the sport of cycling.

Mark Cavendish said he believes the sport of cycling is cleaner than many other professional sports.

Speaking at Tuesday’s Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club talk in London the Tour de France star said that despite several high profile cases of wrongdoing, cycling is much cleaner than many believe… Read more at

Cavendish Defends Cycling’s Reputation Ahead of Tour – 19 June 2012

This week after Lance Armstrong faced new doping charges, 2011 World Road Race Champion Mark Cavendish spoke out in defence of cycling’s reputation at the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club, in front of a packed room of industry executives… Read more at

Lancashire County Cricket Club use headhunters Nolan Partners to replace CEO – 24 April 2012

Lancashire County Cricket Club has hired top head-hunters to find its new chief executive.

The club is seeking a leading business figure to replace Jim Cumbes, who is due to stand down later this year.

Lancashire, reigning county champions, has appointed London-based Nolan Partners to scout suitable candidates on its behalf… Read more at

Arsenal chief executive says firing Wenger not an option – 20 September 2011

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis today lashed out at Arsene Wenger’s critics and insisted that his position is not under threat despite the club’s poor start to the season… Read more at

Leaders in Football Secures Sponsorship Trio – 19 August 2011

Some of world sport’s leading service providers are among the latest sponsors of Leaders in Football.

Event organizer Executive Sport Ltd announced that business advisory firm PwC, executive search firm Nolan Partners as well as brand analysis experts Repucom and Sport+Markt will support the upcoming summit… Read more at

Sports Agenda – 24 September 2010

The FA have changed headhunters in their search for a new chairman following the exit of Lord Triesman last May. Odgers, who have paid the price for bringing Lord T to football, have been replaced by Nolan Partners. They are likely to recruit from inside football when FA rules allowing this are changed next month… Read more at

Scottish F.A. appoint Stewart Regan as Chief Executive – July 28 2010

THE Scottish FA has announced the appointment of Stewart Regan as Chief Executive.

The 46-year-old joins after four years as Chief Executive of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Previously, Stewart was Director of The Football League Championship, where he led the rebranding and rejuvenation of the second tier of English football… Read more at

Manchester United Appoint New Club Secretary – December 20 2009

Manchester United has appointed John Alexander, currently Club Secretary at Tottenham Hotspur, as only its fifth Secretary since the War. He will take up the post when Ken Ramsden retires at the end of the season.

John has been the Secretary at Spurs since 2000 and before that was Club Secretary at Watford. He began his association with the game as a player with Millwall, Reading and Northampton Town, before retiring in 1982.

His appointment follows a recruitment process, announced in September 2009, which included advertisements in national newspapers which attracted many high quality applications from the world of football and beyond. John will join the Group Executive committee at the Club. Read more at

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