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New directors appointed at Northampton Saints plc

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints plc, the parent company of Aviva Premiership club Northampton Saints, has today announced the appointment of two new non-executive directors to the company’s board.

The new directors have a wealth of experience working in senior positions at major national and international companies and will increase the strength and business acumen on the Saints’ board as we seek to grow the business to be competitive on the pitch.

Matt Smith is chief financial officer of Debenhams plc, one of the UK’s leading retailers which operates in 27 countries.  He has a long and illustrious record at some of the country’s biggest retail companies, including Mothercare and Argos. He is a qualified accountant and was also a director at KPMG.

Simon Cunningham is chief operating officer, marketing, at Value Retail, which specialises in the development and operation of luxury outlet shopping villages in China and Europe, including Bicester Village. Prior to joining this multi-national company he held senior positions with the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund, Aldar Real Estate Abu Dhabi, Barratt Developments, Umbro/Nike, Allied Domecq and Coca-Cola (global sports events).

Saints chairman Tony Hewitt says that the two new directors, who both have MBAs, have been appointed to add value to the board and help the club provide the resources to be successful on the pitch.

“We had a wide range of outstanding candidates apply to the search consultants for the directorships from across a number of sectors, and we took into account a number of factors in choosing to appoint Matt and Simon,” he said. “Their extensive experience in digital marketing, Internet sales and brand management at major international companies will be extremely valuable, especially as we look to develop the Northampton Saints brand and achieve growth in coming years.

“They also live locally to Northampton, meaning that they do not just have a passion for the club but also an understanding of our place in the community and wider region.

“We are at the start of a major period of development for the club, and now have to turn our attention to how we are going to be at the top of English and European rugby over the next 10 years and more. We have begun work both on an updated medium-term strategic plan and future master planning for the longer term.

“We believe that Matt and Simon will add value to our board of directors and will make a massive contribution to our future successes at Franklin’s Gardens.”