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Sale Sharks announce their Board of Directors

Sale Sharks have today announced their Board of Directors who, under the Chairmanship of Fran Cotton, will be looking to build a Northern Powerhouse at the club. The Board met for the first time this morning to discuss and plan the short, mid and long-term strategies for the club.


Simon established CorpAcq in 2006 and recently returned to the Board to oversee the company’s next growth phase. He identifies and negotiates its acquisitions, in conjunction with their Corporate Finance partners, and drives funding and strategic development and direction. Over the last 20 years, Simon has been involved in funding and managing businesses and has overseen the creation and growth of a number of ventures. In addition to CorpAcq, he is also Founder Investor and Director of Bol Foods, a company supplying food products to major retailers and has invested into and funded a dozen or more other businesses.


Ged entered the family business, Morson International, in 1986 following completion of his university education in business studies and a period gaining experience within a technical recruitment organisation in Canada. Progressing to the role of Group CEO, Ged has utilised his business acumen to develop the Morson Group as well as various other investments in business and property in conjunction with his profile within the local area by supporting many initiatives and charities. The Morson Group has grown to a £800 million turnover company with offices throughout the UK and overseas. Its operations support many of the UK’s and international market’s key infrastructure and maintenance programmes within the aerospace, rail and nuclear sectors. In recognition of his success, Ged received an OBE in the Queen’s 2016 birthday honours list for his services to engineering and design.


England and British Lions Rugby legend Fran Cotton will head up the Board of Directors at Sale Sharks. Fran is a successful Northern based businessman who co-founded Cotton Traders in 1987. He became a cult hero at  Sale and played 31 times for England and was captain on three occasions. He was selected to play for the British and Irish Lions’ tour in 1974, when they travelled to South Africa. Cotton played in all four Tests of the Lions’ famous win in South Africa. Fran also managed the British Lions on their successful series win in South Africa back in 1997. He was Chairman of Club England from 1997 to 2004 and is also credited with the recruitment of Sir Clive Woodward who successfully coached the Rugby World Cup winning team in 2003.


Featured in the Sunday Times Debretts top 500 most influential people, Allied London’s CEO Mike Ingall plays a fundamental role in the nation’s property market and in particular, city centre redevelopment. He has over 30 years corporate and real estate development experience, and is one of the founders and principal owners of the new Allied London. With the help of a dedicated and experienced team, Mike has created one of the UK’s most successful private real estate companies. Mike’s ability to blend vision with financial skills and his contacts will assist Sharks in establishing a commercial base in the City.


Steve is a former England international rugby union player and Sale legend. In 1980 he played in all four matches of England’s Grand Slam victory and was called up to the 1980 British Lions tour to South Africa. He became a fully-fledged Lion on the 1983 British Lions tour to New Zealand. In 1987 he co-founded the Cotton Traders clothing business with his former club and national teammate Fran Cotton. He is currently the Chairman of Sale FC.


Mike, a former Sale player, joined law firm JMW in May 2015 as Head of Corporate. He has specialist knowledge and expertise in advising clients in the sporting, media and digital sectors. Mike has previously represented Manchester United  in securing world record sponsorship deals including Nike and several high profile players. Mike also brings significant experience of managing relationships with national sports governing bodies.


Steve is Director of Rugby and rejoined the club in 2011. As a player he played over 350 games for the club before becoming Coach and along with Jim Mallinder led the club to their first piece of major silverware in 2002. Steve also coached England Saxons and led Russia to their first ever qualification to a World Cup place. In his time back at Sale Sharks the team have done consistently well in the Premiership and have again qualified for the European Champions Cup next season.


Dermot has just retired his partnership from a national accounting firm after 38 years in Manchester. His business, management and governance experience will be invaluable to the Sharks board.
Dermot has also spent many years involved in grass roots junior rugby which is the bedrock of both support and player pathways for the Sharks in the North West. He hopes to form an important link between the two.


Jon has been a Director for CorpAcq since its incorporation ten years ago. From an operations-based background, he currently serves in a number of Non-Executive roles within CorpAcq group companies. Whilst primarily in an advisory capacity, Jon brings strategic direction and corporate commerciality to newly acquired businesses, as well as supporting the more established to diversify and grow. Some need a more hands on approach, and Jon has helped drive companies from distress into sustainable profitability. A natural mentor of people, Jon will bring strength to the development of the commercial and administrative teams that work behind the scenes of the club.