Ian Watmore is to join the EFL Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director as successor to the departing Richard Bowker CBE. As the current First Civil Service Commissioner, appointed by the Prime Minister, and former Chief Executive of Accenture UK and the Football Association, Watmore brings a wealth of industry, commercial and public service experience to the EFL, alongside his high profile background in professional sport.
After 24 years at Accenture where he rose from graduate trainee to UK CEO, Watmore joined the Civil Service, serving as a Permanent Secretary under three former Prime Ministers at the Cabinet Office, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and in Downing Street. He has also been involved extensively in the charitable sector, chairing a medical research charity and operating as a Church Commissioner. In addition to leading the FA as CEO, lifelong football fan Ian was a member of the England 2015 Rugby World Cup Board, and was a Board Member of the English Institute of Sport from 2002 until the 2016 Olympic Games.
The EFL Board comprises of three Directors from the Sky Bet Championship, two Directors from Sky Bet League One and one Director from Sky Bet League Two, each elected by the 24 Clubs in their respective divisions. The remaining Directors are the Independent Non-Executive Chairman, EFL Chief Executive Officer and two Independent Non-Executive Directors. Brentford FC Chairman Cliff Crown represents the Championship.
Richard Bowker, who initially joined the EFL in 2012 as one of the Independent Non-Executive Directors, was appointed the Chair of UK Athletics in 2017 and is leaving his role with the EFL following the completion of two, three-year terms. Debbie Jevans CBE remains on the Board as the senior Independent Non-Executive Director.
EFL Chairman, Ian Lenagan, said: “Ian brings an abundance of experience to the role, from a commercial, government and sporting perspective and will no doubt become a valued member of the EFL Board. Ian is widely respected for his work both within and outside the sports industry, having held executive positions at high profile sporting organisations, as well as working with senior political figures in the upper echelons of the British Civil Service. That experience and knowhow will undoubtedly prove beneficial to working with the EFL and our Member Clubs at what are exciting times for the organisation.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Richard Bowker for his commitment to the EFL during his six-year stay, and wish him all the very best in his role as Chair of UK Athletics. His influence and counsel has, on many occasions, been invaluable.”
Ian Watmore said: “I am delighted to be joining the EFL as an Independent Non-Executive Director. I feel passionately about the positive role EFL Clubs play in their communities and I am hopeful that my experience will prove beneficial to the Board of the EFL and its Clubs over coming years.”