Smart moves up after Belles chairman steps down

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DONCASTER Rovers Belles’ chairman Jonathan James has stepped down due to the increased demands of the job since the formation of the Women’s Super League this year.

James, who spent four years at the helm, says he will continue to help the club in a non-official capacity and will continue to support the team.

Retired police officer Alan Smart, who joined the board earlier this year as general business manager, has been appointed vice-chairman. “Jonathan has got a lot of private business commitments which means that he can’t be on the end of a phone between 9am-5pm every day like the FA seem to want,” said Smart.

“But before he stepped down he needed to know that I was ready to step up to vice-chairman and run the ship,” said the 51year-old. “We are looking for the Belles to go full time next year and in order to be able to afford to do that we have to generate more income.

“Whilst we are delighted to be one of only eight teams in the WSL we don’t just want to make up the numbers; we want to be challenging for honours.

“Being the only WSL team in Yorkshire, we have a massive footprint in the county and the North-east and it is an ideal time for anyone interested to get on board.

“We play all home games at the Keepmoat Stadium and the highlights of all our games are shown on ESPN throughout the season.

“The Belles have been going 42 years is a great brand for any company to be associated with and any potential sponsor will find all the girls approachable and happy to do any PR.

“Women’s football is one of the fastest-growing sport in this country and I expect the current World Cup being played in Germany will help raise the game’s profile even higher.”

James said: “There is now a fantastic opportunity for someone to come in as chairman and take the club forward.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the sponsorship and business opportunities available at the Belles can contact Mr Smart on Doncaster 765892 during the day.