South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Macpherson as a non-executive director.

An executive partner at global technology company IBM, South Shields-born Paul is a long-time supporter of the Mariners and now joins the board of directors at 1st Cloud Arena.

His primary role will be to provide independent oversight to the board, and Paul will work particularly closely with chief executive Lee Picton on specific strategies and projects designed to drive the club forward off the pitch.

Speaking after his appointment was confirmed, Paul said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining South Shields Football Club in a non-executive director capacity.

“The club is very close to my heart as I was not only born in the town, but also spent much of my formative years living less than a mile from 1st Cloud Arena.

“I’m very fortunate to work for a company which encourages and supports our involvement in community-based projects, and there is no better or more exciting project for me to get involved with than the one Geoff Thompson and Lee Picton are leading at the football club.

“The vision set out by the club is an ambitious one and I am looking forward to supporting the board in building both a successful and sustainable club that will benefit the whole community for years to come.

“Following a number of conversations with Lee there are a number of areas in which I can bring some value on the non-football side of the operation and I am excited and looking forward to help drive the business forward.”

Paul has been in a number of director and executive positions in his career, both in UK Government and IBM, and is currently a partner in IBM’s public sector business.

He has significant experience in major and complex project management and is also a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Paul is an experienced leader with a strong commitment to continuous learning and performance improvement, demonstrated through his current participation on Cornell University’s Executive Leadership programme.

As well as his significant business experience, Paul also has some experience of working in non-league football in an academy leadership capacity.

He added: “My primary role will be to support Lee in a number of areas where the club can best utilise my skillset, as well as get involved in helping to shape some of the exciting projects that will become a feature of the club’s growth plans in the short and medium term.

“As a part of this focus I’m keen to work with other like-minded supporters who have significant business experience and skills to form a ‘think-tank’ to help shape the club’s future, and we hope to provide more information on that in the near future.”

Paul is joined on the board of directors at 1st Cloud Arena by chairman Geoff Thompson, chief executive Lee Picton, finance director Keith Finnigan and vice-chairman Gary Crutwell.

Lee said: “Since stepping into my role as CEO at the club I’ve made it known publicly that I see enormous value in tapping into the vast skills and experience that undoubtedly reside within our supporter base, and harnessing that in the right way to help the club continue to move forwards.

“After initial conversations between Paul, Geoff and I, there quickly became no doubt in my mind that bringing Paul on board as a non-executive director would add huge value to both me personally, and the wider staff at the club, in helping set out some further strategic direction while also improving our operational capabilities.

“Paul quite clearly has the best interests of the club at heart and I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to work closely with him from this point onwards in striving to deliver the best possible results for everyone associated with the club.”