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Mark Tainton steps down for 'personal reasons'

Mark Tainton (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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Bristol chief executive Mark Tainton is to step down from his role at the end of the season. The Bears explain his departure is for personal reasons but it comes in the wake of an administrative error made in several player contracts which limited the Bears’ recruitment plans.


Tainton is Bristol’s all-time highest points scorer and has served the club across four decades as a player, interim head coach and member of the board.

“It’s always a hard decision to make a change, but I feel after so many years of service to the sport and club that I love, now is the right time to move on,” Tainton said.

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“As a proud Bristolian, Bears will always remain close to my heart, and I wish the club every success going forward.”

Tainton was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2017 and CEO in 2019. During his last five years at the helm, Tainton oversaw the Bears’ return to the Premiership, the commercial rebrand of the club, along with the construction and delivery of the new multi-million-pound Bears High Performance Centre.

Bears Chairman Chris Booy commented: “Mark has been a tremendous servant to the club. Aside from his excellent playing and coaching career he has steered the club through an incredible five years of growth and the last two years of a global pandemic which had a huge impact on the club and professional sport.

“During that time Mark worked tirelessly to ensure our players and staff were safe and able to compete at the highest level.  Seeing Bears secure our first silverware in Europe in the European Challenge Cup in 2020 – albeit behind closed doors – was one of the proudest moments of my life and I’m sure will be a memory that will stay with Mark forever too as a testament to his tireless efforts during the pandemic.


“I’d personally like to thank Mark for all he has done for the club, over so many years, and the club wishes him the very best for his next endeavours.”


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