The FA Board has nominated Jobi McAnuff and Mark Esiri to become Independent Non-Executive Directors of the Football Association [The FA].
Both candidates were the unanimous choices of the nominations committee and are subject to ratification by the FA Council in May.
The appointments reflect the Board’s plan to reform its governance and a desire to have a more diverse skillset, including experience of playing English football at all levels, as well as hands-on digital technology expertise.
The appointments also reflect the FA’s commitment to evolve to a majority independent Board, aligned with the recommendations in the Fan-Led Review.
As a former player and manager, McAnuff will bring his significant experience of the game to the Board having played and worked within English football from grassroots through to the highest levels of the professional game, as well as representing the Jamaican national team.
Jobi had an illustrious playing career, spanning over 20 years and making over 750 appearances for eight clubs including Crystal Palace, Reading, West Ham United and Wimbledon. He has played in the Premier League, all three tiers of the EFL, the National League, and captained Reading and Leyton Orient to promotions. Jobi also made 32 international appearances for the Jamaica national team and was appointed as Leyton Orient’s interim manager during the 2020-21 season. He is currently a regular analyst for Sky Sports, BT Sport and the BBC.
At the 2021-22 EFL Awards, Jobi was presented with the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award, which is awarded to players who’ve had an outstanding career and contributed an exceptional amount to the EFL and wider football.
Mark Esiri is co-founder and current chair of Venrex Investment Management. Mark’s addition to the Board will support the Executive to deliver one of its key strategic priorities in making the game more accessible and connected through digital platforms. He will also bring considerable board experience, as well as a strong connection with the game, having played football at a semi-professional level. Mark also holds an FA Level 2 coaching badge and is currently undertaking a UEFA B coaching course.
He's been a main board director of various portfolio companies of Venrex, including Charlotte Tilbury, Lyst, Notonthehighstreet, Opus Energy, Orlebar Brown and LoveCrafts. Prior to setting up Venrex, Mark was a partner at private equity firm Wand Partners Inc. in New York from 1993 to 2001, where he focused on early-stage investments in the internet, e-commerce, marketing services and technology sectors.
He currently serves as a non-executive director at Godolphin and Latymer School, Eton College and the Gascoyne Cecil Estates, as well as an Honorary Fellow at Royal College of Art, and was trustee and vice chairman of Save The Children between 2009-2017.
In addition, Tim Score, currently group audit committee chair and interim senior independent non-executive director, is to become a permanent Independent director, subject to ratification by FA shareholders. Tim will also chair the remuneration committee from June 2022.
Kate Tinsley, currently independent director and FA Board safeguarding champion, will step up to become senior independent director. Kate also serves on the remuneration, nominations and group audit committees, as well as the grassroots advisory panel.
FA Chair, Debbie Hewitt MBE, said: "We’re delighted to nominate Jobi and Mark to join the FA Board. Both appointments will reflect an important step in our commitment to add to the skillset, diversity, and independence of our Board. Jobi’s experience of playing in the professional and national game, as well as his coaching and management expertise and his involvement in grassroots and academy football, will enhance the Board’s insight to modern day issues on and off the pitch.
"Mark’s experience of creating and developing a broad range of digitally focused organisations, as well as his experience of stakeholder boards and grassroots football, will bring a breadth of skills to the FA.
"They are both passionate about using the game to drive positive change, which is strongly aligned to our mission at the FA, and we believe they will complement our Board well.
"We are also pleased to see Tim Score take up a permanent role as independent director and Kate Tinsley stepping up to become senior independent director."
Jobi McAnuff said: "I’m delighted to be nominated to be part of the FA Board. This is an exciting time to join the organisation, under the stewardship of new FA Chair Debbie Hewitt. Having played and worked across various levels of the game, I believe that I can bring a fresh perspective to the Board. I want to use this experience to help move the organisation forward as it looks to tackle key issues and I can’t wait to get started."
Mark Esiri added: "I have grown up surrounded by football, so to be able to play an important role in the growth and development of the English game is a huge honour. The FA is passionate about improving participation levels across the game through improved digital technology, which aligns well with my values and skillset. I am so pleased to be joining the FA Board and hope that my experience can help build on the positive work already taking place across the country and the wider game."
Subject to ratification by the FA Council of the appointments of Jobi McAnuff, Mark Esiri and Tim Score, the FA Board would comprise:-
• Debbie Hewitt MBE – Independent non-executive chair
• Mark Bullingham – Chief executive officer
Independent non–executive directors
• Kate Tinsley – Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
• Mark Esiri
• Jobi McAnuff
• Tim Score
National game representatives
• Jack Pearce – Vice Chair
• Sue Hough MBE
• Thura KT Win
Professional game representatives
• Peter McCormick OBE – Vice Chair
• Rupinder Bains
• Rick Parry