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Premiership Rugby

Bristol unveil interim management team

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Whilst the developments concerning the ownership of the Bristol club continue, and Malcolm Pearce has confirmed that the Shoguns are still in discussions with a number of parties who have shown an interest in taking on the Club, the owner and Chairman has appointed a management team.

Malcolm Pearce has appointed Ian Bell, a current Director of the club, as acting chief executive and he will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Shoguns during the forthcoming months.

Overseeing rugby matters will be former Bristol captain Mike Rafter, who will be working alongside Bell in developing the on-the-field side of the business.

Former Bristol and Clifton centre Pete Johnson, currently heading up the Bristol Shoguns Academy will also be assisting in identifying players for the squad.

Commenting on the club's official webiste, Bell said: "We are actively in the process of recruiting new players to build our squad for the forthcoming season and we hope to be able to announce developments in the next few weeks.

"Given the relegation of the team then unfortunately, but naturally, there has been an exodus of staff and we are pleased that most of the first team squad have found positions at Premiership or equivalent level.

"We intend for Peter Johnson to combine his role as Academy Manager with coaching the first team backs.

"We also intend to sign an experienced forward who will not only play but coach the pack. We have already spoken to someone who would fit the bill, an experienced and inspirational leader, and he is very keen to join the club."

Alongside Ian Bell will be Mike Turner, who has been appointed in the role of General and Commercial Manager. Turner has been head of the commercial team at the Bristol club for the past four seasons and has brought on board corporate partners of the calibre of Mitsubishi Motors, Puma, SWEB, Hill House Hammond and Kingston In Business.

In addition to the discussions taking place on the playing side a number of high profile sponsors have already signed up for next season including West Country-based SWEB who are a community and official energy partner.

Talking about the future of the club, Bell added: "We have informed people over the last few weeks that there are certain parties interested in taking on the club. We are in discussions with them, but should these talks not develop any further then the Shoguns will continue under the current structure and management, with the aim of being a competitive team in division one.

"Over the next few weeks we are aiming to structure both the on-the-field and off-the-field business to ensure that we are ready for Division One.

"All supporters and corporate partners will be pleased to know that we will be making a series of forward looking announcements over the next few weeks that will concern both the playing side and commercial side of the club."

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