MK Dons SET chief executive takes over as its chairman

Nov 07, 2017

Chairman Simon Ingram has stood down in order to take on different challenges and is replaced by current chief executive John Cove.

Mr Cove pictured is moving to a new role within Inter MK but will also act as the SET’s chairman.

The SET estimates it has worked with around 500,000 people over the last ten years through activities such as Get SET Parenting, boys and girls elite football, disability football, health projects and education programmes. 

Highlights include the creation of 23 disability football teams, the establishment of what was the Girls’ Centre of Excellence, now known as the Regional Talent club, which over the last year has produced 17 international call-ups.

The National Citizenship programme has seen over 2,000 young people complete the outbound course and social action project.

Mr Cove said: “After nine happy years as Chief Executive of the Sport and Education Trust, it is time for me to move to a slightly different challenge but one that allows me to remain involved with the SET as its Chair.

“It is one of pride for me because it has been a phenomenal period of development and achievement for the SET. Due to the efforts of all my colleagues – both paid and unpaid – we have made a real difference to individual lives and I am so proud of their achievements and that of the organisation overall.

“However, it is right that we seek to refocus the organisation in these different and difficult funding times, in order to make it sustainable for the long term so that it remains a lasting legacy of bringing professional football to Milton Keynes.”

As part of the transition, the SET has appointed Angela Novell and Darren Oldroyd as interim joint chief executives.

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said: “The SET has developed into one of Milton Keynes’ key community organisations. I would like to thank Simon for his contribution and know that John will provide the consistency and leadership that will allow the organisation to grow further.”

In recognition of his work with the SET, Mr Cove received the Milton Keynes College Honorary Fellowship award for 2017.

Key events with which he has been involved include:

  • Leading on the bid to be a host venue for the Rugby World Cup in 2015. The week saw over 100,000 people visit Stadium MK.
  • Helping secure the move of the FA Women’s Cup Final to Stadium MK, which drew record crowds.
  • Supporting the ongoing Capital of Culture 2023 bid. 
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