Bolton Wanderers are delighted to confirm the appointment of Neil Hart as the club’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Neil, who originally hails from Rochdale, takes up the position immediately having been previously the CEO at Premier League neighbours Burnley Football Club, where he spent seven years including a spell at the helm of the Clarets’ award-winning community programme, Burnley FC in the Community.
Neil established Burnley FC in the Community as a high impact charitable organisation building a highly competent team of people growing the charity to over 100 staff and driving multimillion-pound funding into the community programme which resulted in the acquisition and building of a number of community facilities in East Lancashire, with one being opened by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, in 2019.
The community programme delivered over 40 different projects engaging with over 33,000 individuals per annum. Neil then took on the Club CEO role in March 2019 and led the club through the challenges of the pandemic and supported with the ultimate takeover of Burnley FC in early 2021.
Prior to his arrival in East Lancashire, Neil played a leading role in developing a successful and highly-regarded community engagement programme at Watford FC over eight years with the highlight securing a single government grant of £4.2 million to build a state of the art community facility and he was instrumental in developing a broader portfolio of successful community partnerships.
Having left Turf Moor amicably in March, following Burnley’s takeover by an American consortium, Neil is looking forward to a new and exciting challenge at the University of Bolton Stadium.
He said: “As a founder member of the Football League, Bolton Wanderers has a rich heritage and history and it is an exciting time to be joining the club.
“With our ‘One Club, One Community, One Town’ vision, the Club is at the very heart of our community. We should always remember our roots and what the club, and indeed football, means to the town of Bolton and our residents.
“I cannot wait to get started and I’m really looking forward to meeting our supporters and working with the staff, Board, Manager and all our local businesses and community partners.
"This opportunity to lead Bolton Wanderers into an exciting future feels right. There is a huge opportunity for everyone at the Club to move it forward in a pragmatic way within a sound and sustainable financial framework.
“There is much hard work ahead and we are definitely up for that challenge - everyone at Bolton Wanderers will get 100% from me every day.
“For me, it’s about the collective and as a family I'm certain the journey ahead for us all will be an exciting and positive one.”
Bolton Wanderers Chairman Sharon Brittan said: “Neil has over 20 years of working in professional football and with a very strong background in community programmes he was the ideal candidate to lead Bolton Wanderers Football Club into an exciting future.
“Neil’s experience at the top level of football from his time at Burnley will bring enormous benefits to our football club and will serve us well going forward.
“He inherits some talented and loyal staff who all remain extremely dedicated to our supporters and the local community.
“Following a thorough recruitment process, the Board and I are delighted that Neil has accepted our offer to become CEO and we all looking forward to working with him.”