THE MANCHESTER CITY BOARD
Much of the information included here is from City's 1996/97 Official Handbook, available for £4.95 from the City Stores.
FRANCIS LEE - CHAIRMAN
Francis Lee is one of a very small group of former professional footballers to become chairman of a club. His distinguished playing career was spent at Bolton Wanderers (92 goals in 189 league appearances), Manchester City (112 goals in 248 + 1 sub league appearances) and Derby County (24 goals in 62 league appearances), and he also won 27 full international caps for England, scoring 10 goals in the process. Lee won two League Championship medals, one with City and another with Derby County.
Lee always had an eye for business and the paper business he set up whilst still a player would
eventually make him a millionaire. He went on to become a successful racehorse owner and trainer
before succeeding Peter Swales at Maine Road in early 1994, following a protracted takeover battle.
COLIN BARLOW - MANAGING DIRECTOR
Colin Barlow is another former City player; he was a speedy winger for the Blues in the late 50's and early 60's. His goalscoring record of 78 in 179 league games is quite remarkable considering that most of his appearances were in wide rôles.
Following short spells with Oldham Athletic and Doncaster Rovers, Colin retired from the game to
concentrate on his business activities. Barlow had left City before Lee joined, so the pair only really
knew each other from get-togethers for ex-players before their mutual friend and former City director
Sydney Rose brought them together in 1993 to discuss how the club could be turned around. Lee and Barlow
quickly formed a partnership that would see them take over at Maine Road the following year, and the
rest as they say, is history.
David joined the board in July 1996 having been a City fan for many years. He first saw the Blues
in an away game at Arsenal in 1955 and cites his most memorable City moment as the F.A. Cup semi-final
against Everton in 1969 which City won with a goal in the last couple of minutes. He is currently based
in London as the Chairman of French Connection Group plc and his ambition for City is "to see the
club achieve the success its supporters deserve and to regain its status as one of the top six clubs in England.
This can only happen if City win major trophies, and above all I would like to see the League title back at
Maine Road." And so say all of us.
David is a company director based in Douglas, Isle of Man, and has been a City fan since before the
War, his first visit to Maine Road coming in the 1938/39 season against Luton Town. His favourite City
moment (apart from being appointed to the Board of Directors) was the Championship win in 1968. He wants to
see City make a quick return to the Premier League and (somewhat unrealistically), within 3 years see the club
outperform Manchester United both on and off the field.
Ashley is the Group Finance Director of Limelight Group, a large home improvement group of
companies headed by Stephen Boler, a major shareholder in City. Based in Hale, Cheshire, his first
City game was against Scunthorpe United in 1963/64, which the Blues won 8-1. His ambitions for the
club are that it should achieve consistent success on the field, watched by full houses. Ashley
is the representative on the board of Stephen Boler and Peter Swales' widow Brenda, who between them hold
a 30% share in the club.
John is a company director for a number of different businesses and is based in Alicante, Spain. He
was an original member of Francis Lee's takeover consortium and provided much of the financial backing
needed to achieve the takeover. He has also been a City fan for a very long time and cites Rodney Marsh
as being his all-time favourite player.
At the 1996 Annual General Meeting, a rights issue was announced which will see a major injection of cash into the club and a significant shift in the balance of power on the board. The rights issue is to be underwritten by Stephen Boler and John Wardle Associates to the tune of £10 million. Wardle will get a seat on the board in return for his investment. Boler's interests will continue to be looked after by Ashley Lewis.
Paul Howarth, firstname.lastname@example.org