JUST IN: Bristol City confirm new leadership structure in wake of Phil Alexander’s departure as CEO Your Thought

JUST IN: Bristol City confirm new leadership structure in wake of Phil Alexander’s departure as CEO Your Thought

Bristol City will not be directly replacing the former CEO following his exit earlier this week

Bristol City have promoted Finance Director Tom Rawcliffe to the position of Chief Operating Officer, in the wake of Phil Alexander’s departure from Ashton Gate last week as CEO.

Alexander abruptly stood down after just eight months in the job with City confirming the news on Sunday evening in a short statement, in which chairman Jon Lansdown thanked the former Crystal Palace chief executive for “his contribution to the club”.


Rawcliffe will now step into a new role, which will combine his responsibilities on the financial side of the club with a more all-encompassing job, working closely alongside technical director Brian Tinnion and Bristol Sport CEO Gavin Marshall, who sits on the board alongside Jon Lansdown.

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Tinnion will continue to oversee footballing decisions of the men’s side of the club, alongside manager Nigel Pearson and his coaching team.

“With the football experience and knowledge of Brian and the financial and administrative skills which Tom can bring, we have a strong model for the foreseeable future,” said Jon Lansdown. “We are excited about this season and believe this is the right approach for us to be successful.”

Pearson had hinted at the prospect of a restructure during his post-match press conference after Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over Plymouth Argyle at Ashton Gate.

The change in structure mirrors that of Bristol Bears with Tom Tainton having been appointed COO in July 2022, replacing long-standing CEO Mark Tainton. Tom Tainton had previously served as Head of Operations for the Premiership Rugby side.

It’s also the club’s first COO since 2016, when Mark Ashton was brought to the club on a permanent basis, before he ascended to the position of CEO the following year.


Rawcliffe has been with City since March 2021, first joining as Financial Controller – hel;d that position for more than two years at AFC Wimbledon – before becoming Head of Finance and Finance Director in January, when Alexander replaced Richard Gould as CEO. He holds an economics degree from the University of Sheffield and an MBA, having studied the football industry at the University of Liverpool.


Rawcliffe worked closely with Gould during the club’s “financial reset” post-Covid, in terms of reducing the wage bill and navigating through potential financial fair play challenges. He is not expected to have as public a profile as Alexander or his predecessor, with Tinnion and Pearson to continue responsibilities in terms of communicating with the fanbase.

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