The board of Lewes FC has followed up the co-option of Michelle Bowie Krige with two further appointments as Non-Executive Directors.
Lewes FC Chair, Stuart Fuller, said, “The workload of the board has significantly increased as we look to build our turnover and broaden our activities and revenue streams. But it’s not just the volume of work, we also need to have greater expertise in key areas and that’s why we are delighted to welcome Steve Keegan and Karen Dobres to the board.”
Steve will be focussing on stadium development, which will include all current aspects of hospitality and catering as well as improving the matchday experience at women’s and men’s matches. He brings a wealth of business experience in developing venues. Steve commented: “I actually first became aware of Lewes FC through its annual Artists United Show and more recently I’ve been a regular at the excellent Men’s Vets (35+) sessions on the all-weather pitch. Knowing my background in venue development, I was approached by one of the Directors and, to be honest, jumped at the chance of using my experience to help this amazing community club.”
In the last two years, Karen has spent many hours getting the club’s EqualityFC message out to women’s groups, both nationally and locally. She has developed an extensive network of organisations and individuals who have become huge allies for the club’s gender parity campaign. This work has been the biggest single boost to the club’s growing ownership numbers. And Karen has taken this experience to potential sponsors as well as to national media and even the United Nations. Karen added: “Two years ago, I wasn’t even into football. But Lewes FC’s gender equality stance made me think again about what football can achieve in wider society. I am now a fervent advocate for the club’s work, even presenting our campaign to an All Party Parliamentary Group recently (along with player Shannon Moloney). Because of the journey I’ve made, I feel in an excellent position to showcase the club’s work to the huge number of people out there who don’t even like football, but very much like gender equality.”
A note on co-opting directors
Lewes FC Club Rule 66 permits the board to co-opt up to four “external Directors” to serve a fixed period subject to review at least every 12 months. Steve and Karen are two such external Directors. They have been selected by virtue of her specialist skills and experience which are considered to be of benefit to the club. Their initial fixed period on the board is until the club’s AGM on Thursday, 24th October 2019, at which point they may choose to stand for election to the board, and if they do not do so, or stand but are not elected, they may be co-opted again annually for one-year terms.
Similarities between this role and elected director role: Co-opted directors receive board materials and are invited to attend board meetings. Co-opted director is appointed to the board at Companies House and with the FCA.
Differences between this role and elected director role: Co-opted director doesn’t get to vote on board matters (thereby preserving the fact that all votes are cast by directors who have been directly elected by the owners). Co-opted director can be removed at any time by a majority vote of the board.