Burnley FC announces senior off-field appointments

Premier League side Burnley FC has announced four appointments to newly-created positions as it seeks to boost its matchday experience and community ties.

Russell Ball has joined the club as head of matchday operations, reporting to executive chairman Alan Pace and overseeing the club’s interaction with supporters, commercial partners, and the local community at Turf Moor.

Russell brings more than a quarter of a century of experience at board-level experience in real estate, and has  acted as an advisor to Burnley FC’s owners ALK Capital since taking over the club in December 2020. He has personally overseen stadium improvements including the multi-million-pound investment in new hospitality facilities within the North Stand and the continued introduction of state-of-the-art technology at Turf Moor.

He will commence his new role immediately and play a key role in the board’s vision to modernise and improve the Turf Moor matchday experience, whilst retaining its unique atmosphere.

Harriet Harbidge has been appointed as Burnley FC’s first-ever fan experience manager. A University of Central Lancashire graduate, she will lead all existing supporter services functions and joins the club from Premier League champions Manchester City. She was previously Burnley FC’s supporter liaison officer from 2016 to 2019.

Lola Ogunbote has been appointed as business lead at Burnley FC Women as part of continued efforts to professionalise women’s football at the club. She will oversee key aspects such aspersonnel, budgets, and day-to-day football club operations.

Lola also serves as the executive director of Goals for Girls, an American non-profit organisation which unites girls through football to lead community change. A qualified FA coach, she previously worked in China as the director of football at Beijing Royal School and was an international community coach for Arsenal FC in Australia, South Africa, and Mozambique.

Gurpri Bains has also joined as equality, diversity, and inclusion lead, strengthening Burnley’s FC’s One Club for All ethos.

She will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of the club’s EDI strategy and joins Burnley from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. She brings a background in arts participation and community engagement, is an FA qualified coach and has previous experience in football with the Aston Villa Foundation.

Alan Pace, chairman of Burnley FC, said: "I am delighted to complete these four key appointments, as the next stage in our long-term growth plan for the club.

"I look forward to working with Russell, Harriet, Lola and Gurpri as part of our expanding management and operations team at Turf Moor. This is an exciting time to join the club as we continue moving forward both on and off the pitch."

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