West Country football club announce departure of chief executive

Henry Staelens

The chief executive of the Football League’s first ever vegan club has announced he is to step down.

When Henry Staelens was appointed the chief executive of Forest Green Rovers in 2018 he was the youngest chief executive in the league.

During his time at the club, which is owned by businessman and green campaigner Dale Vince, the Nailsworth team was promoted to League One for the first time in its history.

The team’s home ground, New Lawn, is one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.

During his tenure, he has seen two play-off campaigns in League Two, and a title-winning season, last year.

And Staelens work off the field has led to the club posting record commercial growth figures year-on-year.

He said: “It’s been a real pleasure to help lead this fantastic organisation – our mission is clear and authentic, and that has allowed us to engage with so many fans around the world.

“In turn, our upwards trajectory off the pitch has culminated in promotion to League One – which of course was a real highlight.

“The time feels right for me to pass the baton on – there is still so much potential to uncover both on and off the pitch at this very special club. Thanks to Dale, the staff and, of course, the fans – it’s been a successful recipe and I hope that can continue for years to come.”

Dale Vince, who is chairman of the club, added: “Losing Henry is a blow. He’s a talented individual but I understand his reasons. We have had five great years together. I am very grateful to him and wish him all the best in his next role.”


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