People on the move: Aberdeen, F1 and more

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We round up the latest movements from the stadium sector and its wider ecosystem…

Aberdeen FC has named Alan Burrows as the leader to head the next phase of its stadium plans after the Scottish Premiership club named him as its new chief executive.

Burrows joins the Dons later this month having recently announced he was to depart fellow Scottish top-flight team Motherwell FC after nine years as chief executive. During his tenure, Motherwell transitioned to fan ownership, recorded its highest ever turnover and net profit, achieved a record transfer fee and sponsorship deal as well as its highest-ever season ticket sales figure.

The club recently stepped up its efforts to secure a new beachfront stadium in Aberdeen by releasing an economic impact report for the proposed project. The report outlined that a new stadium is projected to inject at least £1bn (€1.16bn/$1.23bn) into the local economy over the next 50 years and generate footfall of 38 million. In December, local councillors approved the commencement of preparatory work for the first phase in the transformation of the city’s beachfront.

Burrows said: “When I decided to step down from my role at Motherwell, I was fortunate enough to have a number of clubs make contact with me. However, I was most intrigued by the Aberdeen opportunity, as I think there is so much potential at this club and so many exciting projects already well underway.

“There is much to do, on and off the pitch, and I am excited and eager to work with the many talented staff who I know are in place at Pittodrie. I am also keen to immerse myself as much as I can in the city and with the supporters, so I can best reflect the traditions and expectations of the Dons fanbase.”

The UK Government has announced Lucy Frazer as the new Culture Secretary with responsibility for a revamped Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has outlined plans for a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and a “refocused” DCMS, which no longer features digital.

The slimmed down DCMS will be led by Frazer, formerly Housing Minister and Transport Minister, while Sports Minister Stuart Andrew remains in his position.

Nikolas Tombazis is set to take over the day-to-day running of Formula 1 after being appointed single seater director by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Tombazis’ appointment comes following a review led by FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who has reportedly stepped back from hands-on leadership of F1 to focus on strategic matters. Sulayem was elected president of world motorsport’s governing body in December 2021, and quickly outlined a plan to restructure the FIA’s F1 operations.

Tombazis, formerly chief designer at Ferrari, became head of single-seater technical matters at the FIA in 2018.

Tombazis said: “I am excited and honoured to be taking on this new position within the FIA, and very grateful to the President for the trust he is demonstrating towards me. We have a group of extremely talented and dedicated people who work flat out to deliver the level of regulation that Formula 1 demands and deserves, and I fully believe this new structure will take our resources to the next level and allow us to make continual improvements.”

Steve Nielsen will join the FIA as sporting director, responsible for overseeing all sporting matters including the ongoing development of race control and the remote operations centre, as well as future updates to the sporting regulations. Former sporting director François Sicard will take on a newly created position within the FIA as Formula 1 strategy and operations director, responsible for long-term strategic planning, and also for key trackside activities and logistics.

Live Nation has appointed long-term advisor Dan Wall as executive vice-president for corporate and regulatory affairs.

Wall has been associated with Live Nation for more than 12 years, previously providing guidance as lead outside counsel while a partner at Latham & Watkins, the global law firm which he retired from recently.

“Live Nation has been a special client to me, so about three years ago I floated the idea of this continuing relationship,” said Wall.  “I am grateful to Michael [Rapino] and Joe [Berchtold] for allowing me to continue our work together and I am excited by the challenge.”

Bath Rugby has announced the appointment of businessman Nick Varney as its new chairman.

Varney, a long-standing supporter of the club, held the post of chief executive at global attractions operator Merlin Entertainments for 23 years until his retirement at the end of 2022.

Bath owner Bruce Craig said: “Nick has outstanding leadership and business experience having built Merlin into a global brand during his tenure. He will play an invaluable role in the future success of the club.”

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing and we’ll include it in our next round-up.