David Sheepshanks

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David Sheepshanks in 2014

David Richard Sheepshanks CBE DL is the founding and current Chairman of the St George's Park National Football Centre and former Chairman of Ipswich Town FC. He is also chairman of UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the umbrella organisation for all community foundations in the UK, providing philanthropic advice to clients and delivering UK-wide grant-making programmes. Other business interests include non Executive roles with Coutts Bank, 21st Club and Onside Law. Past business interests included Starfish Ltd 1980-1990 and Suffolk Foods Ltd which he founded in 1990 with his brother Rick and where he was Chairman and a majority shareholder before selling in 2004. He also served externally on various local radio station Boards including Chairman of VIBE FM in 1990 and Director of Radio Orwell and BBC Radio Suffolk Advisory Board.


He was elected to the Ipswich Town board in 1987[1] and was appointed chairman in 1995. During his time at Ipswich he oversaw a complete reorganisation of the Club, instigated his famous 5 year plan, 4 years in the play-offs culminating with promotion to the Premiership through the play off in 2000, then two seasons in the UEFA Cup however a period of administration followed relegation between February and May 2003. The other two relegated clubs that season, Leicester and Derby, suffered a similar fate when the new August transfer window took effect and the League's broadcaster, On Digital, went bankrupt. On behalf of the Board and Shareholders, he led a search for a buyer for the Club and in October 2007 it was announced that the club had secured a £44 million investment from Marcus Evans, and Sheepshanks would remain in post. The deal went ahead in December 2007. On 1 July 2009 Sheepshanks stood down as chairman and took an unpaid non-executive role at the club.

In 1997 he was appointed chairman of the Football League for two years where he helped with the re-structuring of the league and appointed Richard Scudamore as CEO. He subsequently served the boards of the Football Association (FA) and FL for 12 years, as well as UEFA and the FIFA Marketing Committee 2002-2004. In February 2007 he was mooted as a possible leader of England's bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2018.[2]

Sheepshanks was the founder Chairman of the ITFC Education and Sports Trust, a founder trustee of the Community Foundation for Suffolk, Patron of the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of the Samaritans and President of the Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau and as Ambassador to Street League. In 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the University of East Anglia (UEA) for services to the community and made a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk.

Like his predecessors, Patrick and John Cobbold, Peter Hill-Wood (Chairman of Arsenal), and HRH Prince William (President of the Football Association), Sheepshanks is an Old Etonian.

On 16 May 2010, Sheepshanks was appointed joint acting chairman of the FA, along with Roger Burden, following the resignation of Lord Triesman. His term ended with David Bernstein's permanent appointment in January 2011.

Since 2008, Sheepshanks has led and overseen the development and opening of the FA National Football Centre at St George's Park. Opened in October 2012 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, this is now the educational hub for English football, specialising in Coach Education, Leadership Development and High Performance. It is also the training home of all 24 England teams.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to football and for charitable services in Suffolk.[3]


External links[edit]

UK Community Foundations