DCMS bungles Sport England announcement

If you were wondering whether an appointment has yet been made of a new chairman for Sport England, then the answer is “yes”. Not that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport was going to let you know.

Duncan Mackay, in today’s Guardian, reports: “A press release sent last Friday about the new chairman of Sport England failed to go anywhere, it appears, except an obscure Polish website.”

Mackay further reports that the DCMS has explained that this was because the departmental mailing list is out of date. So out of date, it appears, that the release was not even sent to the Press Association.

The chairman of Sport England for the past four years has been Jack Straw’s schoolfriend, Lord Patrick Carter. His successor, it emerges, is Derek Mapp, the founder of the Tom Cobleigh pub chain who was previously appointed to the East Midlands regional development agency. Mapp is also a donor to the Labour party.

Mapp takes the two-day-a-week, £32,000 per year job which has key responsibilities with sports governing bodies with a background described in the little-read press release as “a keen follower of sport and is a particularly avid supporter of rugby league and the Warrington Wolves. He also enjoys football and golf”.

The DCMS – the department at the centre of government planning for the London Olympics – says it is overhauling its address list. The 2012 Games are now less than six years away.