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DAVID SHARPE APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL
26th May 2020 19:47


Mansfield Town appoint director of football
mansfieldtown.net, Wed 13 May 2020

Mansfield Town is delighted to announce the appointment of former Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe as its new director of football.

The 29-year-old will further enhance the club’s football structure, working closely with manager Graham Coughlan and his staff.

Highly regarded within football, Mr Sharpe will also endeavour to advance the club’s business model, alongside owners John & Carolyn Radford.

After studying business management at university, Mr Sharpe worked at Wigan from an early age, before being appointed as a director in 2014.

In March 2015, he became the youngest chairman in the history of English football at the age of 23, taking over from his grandfather David Whelan, with the pair delivering unapparelled success to the Greater Manchester club.

Under Mr Sharpe’s tenure, the Latics won two League One titles, reached the FA Cup quarter-finals and accrued a significant net profit on player sales.

In November 2018, he completed the sale of the club to a Chinese consortium and has since worked as an advisor to board of 366 Group - a highly experienced organisation with over 80 years combined experience in media and sports management.

In a joint statement, owners John & Carolyn Radford said: “We are greatly looking forward to working with David, whose credentials and achievements within football and business are there for all to see.

Read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2020/may/mansfield-town-appoint-director-of-football/

“At Wigan Athletic, he worked closely with the likes of Roberto Martinez, Uwe Rosler and Paul Cook, amongst others, in masterminding the success which they delivered to the Latics, whilst developing a network of contacts within football and business.

“This expertise and experience, as a director and chairman of Wigan, will now be of real benefit to Mansfield Town as we endeavour to build on the strong foundations which have been made at One Call Stadium.

“David has an infectious passion for football and business, a notable track record within the industry, and the contacts and skills to help the club grow and prosper.

“David will oversee the football structure and will work to implement his recommendations to support both the football operation and the board of directors during this uncertain period for the game and beyond.”

Mr & Mrs Radford added: “Separately, we’d like to take this opportunity to send our warmest wishes to our supporters and their families during this challenging time for everyone.”

Mr Sharpe commented on his joining the club: “First and foremost I would like to thank the chairman and Carolyn for the opportunity to become the first director of football in Mansfield Town Football Club’s history.

“Since I stepped away from Wigan Athletic 18 months ago, I’ve always had a burning ambition to be involved with a football club again and although various opportunities have presented themselves, this is the only club that felt the right fit. I’m immensely proud and honoured to now be the director of football at Mansfield Town.

“It is a club which I have followed from afar over the last few years and I am excited to support the chairman and Carolyn in helping them to fulfil their ambitions for the club and the town.

“They have provided a fantastic platform for the future of the football club and continue to commit a significant level of investment. I hope, in my role, to add to the solid foundations and infrastructure already in place from the academy up to the first team.

“I look forward to working closely with Graham Coughlan and all the staff at the football club and I have no doubt that once Graham has the opportunity to put his stamp on the squad this summer, our supporters will have a Stags’ team they can be proud of next season.

“Until then, I echo the sentiments of the Chairman and Carolyn’s messages and wish you all well in this challenging time.”

Mr Sharpe added: “Finally, on a separate note, I’d like to thank all at the 366 group, where I’ve acted as an advisor to the board for the last year. I believe the company will continue to progress in establishing itself at the forefront of sports marketing and athlete representation.”

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David Sharpe spoke to BBC Radio Nottingham's Colin Fray, Wed 13 May 2020:

"My role will be a fine balance of sitting in between the manager and the chairman and chief executive.
"My key relationship is myself and the manager, trusting each other.
"The director of football title sometimes people think "well he'll sign the players and the manager just coaches the team", that's far from the truth when it comes to me.
"I'll support the manager, I'll help the manager, we'll work with the head of recruitment very closely, and the manager will always have the final say on what players come in and out of this football club, along with the chairman obviously from a financial point of view.
"I'm here to support the manager, to work between him and the board, to report to the board."

Full audio here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08d2m6v

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Mansfield Town want to attract League One-standard players this summer - David Sharpe
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Monday, 18th May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit clubs in the pocket as they were unable to generate revenue from the final league games of the season.

It is expected that a number of sides higher up the pyramid will now tighten the purse strings, which could lead to the trimming of squads and out-of-contract players having to drop down the divisions.

That is something manager Graham Coughlan will be keen to exploit as he prepares for his first full season with Town.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-want-attract-league-one-standard-players-summer-david-sharpe-2857045

"Where there's a problem there's also an opportunity in my opinion," new Stags director of football David Sharpe told the club’s website.

"With Graham wanting to put his own stamp on the squad we’ve got to use that situation. There's going to be a lot of players out of contract this summer who may usually get contracts in League One. That situation might be different now."

Sharpe, the grandson of former Latics owner David Whelan, became the youngest chairman in the history of English football at the age of 23.

Now, aged 29, he was unveiled him as the club’s director of football last Wednesday.

After studying business management at university, Sharpe worked at Wigan from an early age, before being appointed as a director in 2014, being named chairman in 2015.

Under his tenure, the Latics won two League One titles, reached the FA Cup quarter-finals and accrued a significant net profit on player sales.

While the coronavirus crisis may help the Stags bolster their playing squad, work continues behind the scenes to make sure the club is in good shape for when football can return.

"How can we come through this stronger and better?" Sharpe asked.

"I believe that all the work we'll do between now and when the new season starts - we don’t know when, and even if this current season will still resume, that's still not clear - there'll be lots of work behind the scenes to make sure we don’t leave anything unturned and we're fully ready and Graham's happy with everything he's got in place."(Then we can) go into a new season, new era, with plenty of positivity and look towards a bright future.”

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Pulling together for good times! Mansfield Town director of football David Sharpe arrives to support Graham Coughlan, not undermine him
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne

New Mansfield Town director of football David Sharpe says he has joined the club to support Graham Coughlan, not overrule him.

As the Stags boss begins his first summer of business at the One Call Stadium he will be keen to re-shape a squad in his image.

Relationships between directors of football and managers don't always run smoothly, but Sharpe believes that 'pulling together' is the best way to bring success.

"In my opinion, my role as director of football will be very much to support the manager and staff, from the academy up to the first team," he told the club's website.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/pulling-together-good-times-mansfield-town-director-football-david-sharpe-arrives-support-graham-coughlan-not-undermine-him-2858474

"I fully believe that when it comes to issues such as recruitment and signings the manager should always have the final decision, with the chairman.

"I've heard stories of directors of football signing players. The manager turns into a head coach and doesn't really have a say on signings.

"That's not what I'm here to do and I don't want to be that type of director of football.

"I'll be working closely with Graham and his staff, with Andy Burgess, the academy. That'll be my role, between the chairman, Carolyn and the manager.

"Hopefully, putting good processes in place, the club will better for it. Pulling together in one direction, we'll have some good times ahead."

Sharpe, 29, became the youngest-ever chairman in English football when he took the role at Wigan Athletic as a 23-year-old.

During his tenure the Latics won two League One titles, something Sharpe puts down to hard work and attention to detail.

"It was a job to me," he continued. "To some people being the chairman just means paying the cheques and turning up to the games.

"My role was very much day-to-day, working in every department from football to commercial to hospitality, whatever it may be.

"I look back on it fondly and will hopefully use my experience there to bring some aspects here and see if we can learn from each other and gel it together.

"We won some promotions, trophies, leagues. I look back on it as a great time, but also it's been and gone. I move on and here I am today as a Stag."

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John Radford's facebook page, Wed 13 May 2020:

‪We are greatly looking forward to working with David, whose credentials and achievements within football and business are there for all to see.‬

‪David has an infectious passion for football and business, a notable track record within the industry, and the contacts and skills to help the club grow and prosper.‬


from John Radford's facebook page, Wed 13 May 2020:

Question from David Cornell: That's Radfords on their way then?

John Radford: No

Question from Darren Shaw: Can you get his Grandad to chuck a few bob in John? ;-)

John Radford: Be nice, we are doing ok thanks


Carolyn Radford's facebook page, Wed 13 May 2020:

Question from John Mapletoft: Are Radfords selling up.This guys family are loaded and would have finance to buy Stags.Im pretty certain this is the way it’s going.

Carolyn: Erm no. We are very happy owners thank you

Question from Jilly Tagg: What exactly does a 'Director of Football' do in the roll? is it really necessary to have one ??? just asking"..

Carolyn: Yes very necessary for us. We are spending time out the country and need to be very hands on with our other businesses we need someone as driven as David to help us achieve our targets for the club.

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