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CEO of Premiership champs Northampton to step down

By Ian Cameron
Press Association

Northampton Saints have confirmed that the club’s chief executive Mark Darbon will be stepping down from his role in November – just weeks after the club were crowned Gallagher Premiership champions.

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Darbon has led the club for seven years, having arrived at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in July 2017. He exits the Gallagher Premiership champions to pursue an opportunity as chief executive of The R&A, based in St Andrews, Scotland.

Despite his departure, Darbon will remain on the Northampton Saints board as a non-executive director.

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Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

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Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

“Leaving Northampton Saints has been an incredibly difficult decision for me to make,” said Darbon. “Over the last seven years my family and I have loved our time in Northampton, and developed a passion and attachment for Saints which will stay with us forever.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved during my tenure. Rugby has faced some significant challenges, but the Club is well positioned to continue to be successful into the future, on and off the pitch, whilst remaining at the centre of our local community in Northampton.

“It has been a real team effort, and I have relied on the support of the Club’s owners, board of Directors, shareholders, partners, players, staff and supporters throughout my time here.

“I want to thank everyone at the Club for their hard work, commitment, and capability which allowed us not only to top the Gallagher Premiership this season, but also to achieve record-breaking commercial results year after year.

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“My family and I will remain very close to the Club as fans, and I’m delighted to be staying on in some capacity at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens by remaining on the board as a Non-Executive Director. I’m looking forward to seeing where our players, coaches and staff – particularly those that we have developed here at the club – can take Northampton Saints in the years ahead.”

Darbon oversaw a transformation of the rugby set-up at Northampton, initially appointing Chris Boyd as director of rugby and investing in the club’s pathway system as well as a group of young English coaches. Those changes saw Saints begin to play a more expansive brand of rugby in the Gallagher Premiership, with a new crop of academy graduates forming the spine of the playing squad.

John White, chairman at Northampton Saints, said: “Mark has done a fantastic job during his seven years leading the club, and leaves Saints in a very strong position for the future – on and off the pitch.”

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