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GBGB appoints new Chair

The GBGB has announced that Tom Kelly has been appointed as Chairman following a board meeting at New Bridge Street today.

 

Kelly, 71, is currently chair of the BGRF and recently retired as chair of Bags. He has previously been chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers.

 

Kelly said that his number one priority was to address the steep decline in the sport’s income; “The sport is in crisis. Greyhound racing is a national sport, and a wonderful one with passionate, caring and professional people - but there is simply not enough income coming in. Despite there being more Bags racing than ever, Fund money is in decline, and unless something is done on the funding front, greyhound racing faces the prospect of further financial decline with the risk of further pressure on welfare and integrity budgets.

 

As horseracing lobbies for a “racing right”, Kelly believes that if that happens greyhound racing should receive one too; “A racing right” may be a possible solution but it is early days yet. The reasons why greyhound racing didn’t get the Levy 50 years ago are no longer valid and the only real difference between the two sports is that horseracing is rich and greyhound racing is poor.”

 

“Betting shops now open at night, seven evenings a week, and there is no longer a greyhound Tote monopoly. Horse and greyhound racing are both equally dependent on betting, football, tennis and golf etc are not. It is right that a proper deal exists so that the health of greyhound racing is safeguarded and I intend to do everything possible to make that happen.”

 

 

GBGB chief executive Barry Faulkner welcomed the appointment: “After a thorough search by Nolan Partners, an outstanding shortlist for the position of chairman was identified. After meeting the candidates, the Nominations Committee (Simon Gower, Clive Feltham, Peter Cadman - chairman of the GBGB UKAS Impartiality Committee and myself) agreed that Tom was the right man for the job of leading GBGB at this important time for the industry.”

 

"On a personal level, I am delighted that Tom is joining GBGB. We worked together for 11 years at Bags and ABB and I am looking forward to working with him again to make greyhound racing's case on funding in particular but also in all areas of our operation.”

 

Kelly replaces former chair Maurice Watkins and takes up his post with immediate effect. He has accepted a two year contract, with an option for it to be extended for another year.

 

 

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