Jane Crombleholme NEW Chair

Manchester FA appoints Jane Crombleholme to Board of Directors as first Independent Chair

Manchester FA is delighted to announce the appointment of Jane Crombleholme to its Board of Directors as its first Independent Chair.

As Independent Chair, Jane will be responsible for leading the Board to deliver Manchester FA’s business strategy which seeks to grow and develop grassroots football across Greater Manchester and provide a fantastic experience for member clubs, volunteers and the thousands of participants that play the game. 

In addition to overseeing the affairs of Manchester FA, Jane will be responsible for ensuring the Board fulfil its duties and obligations for the effective governance of the Association. This will also include the performance management of Manchester FA’s Chief Executive Officer, Colin Bridgford. 

Jane has a vast amount of experience in a number of Board and Chairperson roles across a variety of public and not-for-profit sectors undertaken over many years. Added to this, Jane has broad commercial experience in the higher education sector both in the UK and internationally. Jane is currently the Managing Director for Executive Education at the Alliance Manchester Business School, a role which she will continue alongside her voluntary role with Manchester FA until she formally retires in 2024.

Jane’s appointment follows the conclusion of a recruitment process led by Manchester FA’s Nominations and Remunerations Group to appoint a successor to current Chair, John McLellan-Grant in advance of him reaching his nine-year term limit. 

In accordance with the recommendations made in the FA’s Code of Governance for County FAs, the group sought to appoint an Independent Chair and following the advertisement of the role, candidates were shortlisted and interviewed. A final recommendation was made to the full Board and subsequently ratified with unanimous approval in July. 

Over several years Manchester FA has developed and evolved the make-up of its Board to ensure the organisation benefits from a diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge.  

Jane will therefore be joining an already hugely experienced Board of Directors, including: 

Colin Bridgford – CEO, Senior Safeguarding Lead, Company Secretary and FA Council Representative
Elliot Ward – Senior Non-Executive Director – Communications & Marketing
Anika Leslie-Walker – Independent Non-Executive Director – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 
Geraldine Ryan – Independent Non-Executive Director – Legal and Compliance 
Chris Armstrong – Independent Non-Executive Direction – Health & Wellbeing
Karen Bardsley – Independent Non-Executive Director – Women & Girls
Will Blandamer – Independent Non-Executive Director – Safeguarding 
Rebecca Britain – Executive Director – Professional Game
Dan Jones – Independent Non-Executive Director – Finance & Risk

Commenting on her appointment as Manchester FA’s first Independent Chair, Jane Crombleholme, said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed as Independent Chair for Manchester FA. Football is our national game and one which has a huge impact across all communities. As someone who was born and bred in Manchester and lived here for most of my life, I know the importance of grassroots football across our city in particular and the role it plays in bringing people together. 

I particularly look forward to supporting our wonderful team of staff, volunteers and players to further grow the numbers of people playing football and continue our journey to be a role model for inclusive sport.”

Manchester FA’s Chief Executive Officer, Colin Bridgford, added:

“We have been proud of the steps that we have taken over many years to develop and evolve our governance model and are delighted that Jane will be joining the Board as our first Independent Chair.  

Jane brings with her a wealth of experience, a passion for community work and volunteering and importantly, has a determination to ensure Manchester FA continues to grow and develop the grassroots game across Greater Manchester.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing Chair, John for his outstanding contribution to grassroots football. His leadership of the Board and his support for the team at Manchester FA during his tenure is something we have all appreciated.”

As part of Manchester FA’s induction process for its new Chair, outgoing Chair, John will begin a handover period before formally stepping down from the Board. John will also play an active role during this season’s Annual General Meeting in the autumn.