Former Labour/Co-op MP and shadow minister Tom Greatrex is the new chair of Supporters Direct.
Mr Greatrex was elected at the organisation’s annual general meeting on 2 July, replacing Brian Burgess, who stood down at the end of his term of office.
Supporters Direct is the national apex body for supporter trusts, which are co-operatives made up of fan members. The organisation represents more than 200 supporter trusts and supporter-owned clubs across the country.
Mr Greatrex has been involved in supporter trusts as well as the wider co-operative movement. He was one of the founders of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust and has led its campaign ‘Back to the Cottage’ to ensure Fulham returned to their historic home. In 2016 Mr Greatrex resumed his position as chair of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust.
He was the Labour/Co-op MP for Hamilton and Rutherglen West between 2010 and 2015 and shadow minister for energy between 2011 and 2015.
Prior to that, Mr Greatrex has worked as a trade union official, a senior local government officer and government adviser. Currently he is chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association.
He said: “I am delighted to have been elected by my fellow board members as the new chair of Supporters Direct, and I’m looking forward to working closely with the board, member trusts, chief executive and staff of Supporters Direct to progress the vital role of supporters in owning and running their clubs, and pressing for good governance in sport.
“I know first hand of the exemplary advice and guidance SD provides to trusts from my time as one of the founders of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust nearly 15 years ago, and the campaigning and policy work which I was happy to support during the time I was an MP.
“The opportunity for supporters to take an active role in helping to run and safeguard their clubs is as important now as it ever has been – and I am relishing playing my part in promoting our unique and vital mission in the years ahead.”
Ashley Brown, chief executive of Supporters Direct, added: “Tom has been active in the trust network for many years, and has a great understanding of Supporters Direct and the challenges we face. Everyone at Supporters Direct is looking forward to working closely with him to continue the great work the organisation and its member Trusts continue to do”.