Mansfield Town unveil former Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe as director of football
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, his 'expertise and experience' has impressed Stags owners John and Carolyn Radford.
“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," Mr Sharpe said.
“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."
Mr Sharpe has been tasked with further enhancing the club’s football structure, working closely with manager Graham Coughlan and his staff.
After studying business management at university, Mr Sharpe worked at Wigan from an early age, before being appointed as a director in 2014, being named chairman in 2015.
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 a joint statement, owners John and 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.
“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.”
In November 2018, Mr Sharpe 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.
Mr Sharpe continued: "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.”
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