West Ham Women's managing director Jack Sullivan to step down
- Credit: PA
West Ham United can confirm that Jack Sullivan will step down from his role as Managing Director of the women’s team in mid-June.
The 21-year-old son of Hammers Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan will depart after four years in charge – a period that has brought unprecedented growth for the women’s team.
Having taken over in May 2017, Jack played a leading role as the Club successfully applied for a licence to play in the top tier of the restructured FA Women’s Super League just a year later. The Hammers enjoyed a phenomenal inaugural 2018/19 campaign in the WSL, securing a seventh-place finish and reaching the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
They were making further strong progress, including playing at London Stadium in September which attracted the third highest attendance in WSL history, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the early termination of the 2019/20 WSL season.
Despite a tough battle in the lower half of the division this season, they secured their WSL top-flight status and will contest their fourth consecutive campaign next season. Next season signals the start of an exciting new era for the women’s game with the start of the new broadcast rights deal that will see Sky Sports and the BBC screen live games, which follows on from the TV show on BBC Three and saw an audience of over 20 million across the two series.
It is an era that West Ham United are perfectly placed to challenge thanks to Sullivan’s hard work over the past four years, not only to improve fortunes on the pitch but also off it – expanding commercial revenue, increasing the number of Season Ticket Holders and building the fanbase.
Following the appointment of experienced manager Olli Harder in December 2020 and the move to train in state of the art facilities at the club’s Chadwell Heath Academy of Football headquarters and play home matches at the 6,000 capacity Dagenham & Redbridge stadium, as well as the recent addition of Paul Konchesky to the backroom team, Sullivan leaves the women’s team in an extremely healthy position for the future.
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General Manager Aidan Boxall, who joined the club in April 2020, will now take on greater responsibility in the day-to-day management of the women’s set-up, while the consistent growth of the commercial operation will see the club’s commercial director Nathan Thompson oversee the continuation of that progress.
Jack Sullivan said: “This has been a very tough decision but, after much consideration, I believe it is the right time to move on. My time working with the women’s team has been a fantastic and hugely rewarding experience.
"When I look back on where we were four years ago, I am extremely proud of team and the progress and improvements that we have all made since then.
“I feel we have put foundations in place that will give the women’s team a great chance of going on to bigger and better things in the future, and I want to thank every single one of the players, coaches, staff, fans and the partners who have been alongside me on this journey.
"We have missed the supporters so much this year and we cannot wait to welcome them back to our games on a regular basis – your support makes such a difference to the team.
"I leave with some fantastic memories, with my head held high, and confident that a platform is now in place for West Ham United to progress further in the women’s game.
"I have been working with club staff for a sustained period of time now and that, combined with the one Club approach, will ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.
“Despite the fact that I am stepping down from the role, I will also continue to be the team’s biggest fan, supporting them in everything they do and helping in any way I can – this will include the playing budget being increased for next season.
"I will always be enormously proud of all that we achieved in the past four years, I’m confident success will continue and I wish Aidan, Olli, the players and all of the staff nothing but the best for the future.”
He concluded: “We’ve seen fantastic growth in the women’s game and I really do encourage even more people to get behind it, whether that be following your team on social media, watching your first game on TV or coming down to a game and supporting in person.
"That will be hugely important to ensure the women’s game continues to grow and flourish – something we all want.”