Barnsley FC can today announce that a new club chief executive has been appointed – just a week after installing a chairman.
Ben Mansford, a sports lawyer is leaving his current role of a director in a global sports marketing and management media group to take up the reins at Oakwell.
With over ten years experience in professional sport, mainly as an agent with the Los Angeles based Wasserman Media Group and practising as a sports solicitor at Walker Morris in Leeds, Mansford said, “I hope to be in post very soon and to meeting the fans and stakeholders. We are one town, one club and one team.“
The appointment comes just a week after former Manchester United director Maurice Watkins CBE was announced as board chairman.
Watkins said, “In Ben we have someone who not only understands the management and finances of football and has a good record of business achievement in sport, but also shares our deep desire for Barnsley FC to succeed.
“I am sure he will prove an excellent chief executive and can build on Don Rowing’s legacy of continuous improvement.“
Club owner, retired businessman Patrick Cryne, paid tribute to Rowing’s dedication to Barnsley FC. He said; “Don has been the unsung hero at the club. In his position you draw fire for all the poor decisions made within, but get little credit for the good work done.
“His workload has always been phenomenal and yet he has discharged it completely. I regard him as a good friend and wish him a long and fruitful retirement.”
Mansford, who lives in East Yorkshire, said he believed the club needs to move forward on two main fronts – supporting the manager David Flitcroft in building a successful team but also off the pitch to generate more income.
He said, “ We need Oakwell to become the place where people come to watch football and enjoy themselves during what are still tough economic times.
“It is a great honour and a privilege to be involved in the management of such a historic club. I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing to show that anything is possible.
“Barnsley FC is in good shape thanks to a good job by Don Rowing off the pitch and in recent times on the pitch as David Flitcroft has driven the players forward in remarkable fashion.“
With Wasserman Media, Mansford has negotiated employment contracts in the UK and abroad for players and has handled regulatory issues with the football authorities. He has negotiated commercial licensing and sponsorship agreements as well as handling image and intellectual property rights for clients. He advised Fabien Delph on his transfer from Leeds United to Aston Villa for £8m and advised the administrators of Crystal Palace on the sale of Victor Moses to Wigan for £2m.
As a lawyer at Walker Morris, Leeds he specialised in sports related matters acting for players , athletes, coaches , managers , clubs and agents.