Q and A: Derby County Ladies’ new governance board

Derby County Ladies new board of directors Q&A: Who is on the board? What is the governance board?

Sam Griffiths Nick Britten and CEO Duncan Gibb
Sam Griffith (left), Nick Britten (centre) and CEO Duncan Gibb (Right) announce the new board of directors for Derby County Ladies. Photo: DerbyCountyLFC

What is the governance board?

The board of directors, alternatively known as the governance board, has recently been announced by Derby County in a joint statement with the Ladies’ team.

Made up of seven senior figures within the Derby County network, the board has been tasked with managing the growth and strategic development of the club.

They will not interfere with the day to day running of the club which will be left to the current operations board and CEO Duncan Gibb.


Who is on the board?


The Chair of the board is Nick Britten, director of corporate communications at Derby County Football Club.

Nick Britten
Nick Britten is the chairman of the board of directors. Photo: Twitter @NickBritten

Head of marketing for Derby County, Faye Nixon is the Vice Chair.

Sarah Bailey is the Secretary and has a background as a corporate solicitor.

Claire Twells is a business development partner.

The CEO of Derby County Football Club Stephen Pearce is also on the board.

Lauren Asquith is the Club Development and Disability Manager for Derby County Community Trust.

And finally, Michael Johnson the former Derby County player, now working as an ambassador for Derby County Football Club.

Chairman Nick Britten spoke about the link to the main club when discussing the formation of the board. He said: “We are men’s football, of course, but we are also women’s football and we also have an incredibly strong community arm. It was important that this board of governance had a link throughout from the men’s side and the community trust.”

What are the responsibilities for the board?

Firstly, the board are tasked with assessing the framework surrounding the club to make sure everything is appropriate for a professional club. The governance board will review how the club agrees sponsorship and marketing deals and what ways are best to manage the image of Derby County Ladies. The board members bring extensive experience within business and marketing fields, suggesting the key focus will be on developing a long term vision for Derby County.

Nick Britten said: “I think where we will benefit the club most is the ability to leverage the power of the main club to support the ladies club.

We want to provide a guiding hand so that when we do get promoted, which is our ambition, we will be in a very strong place to build on and potentially then onto the next phase.”


Why have the club done this?

The obvious answer is because without staff members responsible for the areas mentioned above it is difficult for a team to compete with much bigger clubs. Derby County are ambitious and want to play in the professional WSL as soon as possible. To do this a club must demonstrate to the FA that they have a suitable support network behind the scenes.

The second reason is to do with finance. As women’s football has ridden the wave of fantastic major tournaments – first the Euros in 2017 and then this year’s Women’s World Cup – sponsorship and investment has rapidly increased. The level of demand and the importance of those decisions has made it necessary for this board to be put in place.


What has Duncan Gibb, the CEO, said?

Gibb described the announcement as ‘exciting’ and said he felt it was a “landmark day in the proud history of Derby County Ladies.”

Read more from Gibb here.

He became CEO in 2013 and has been public about his desire to develop the club into a top-flight outfit since he spoke to the BBC back in 2015.


Read More:

Derby County Ladies FC target Women’s Super League – BBC 2015


How Derby County’s ‘One Club’ commitment has set Sam Griffiths’ sights on the Women’s Super League