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Birmingham Post Power 250 2017: Sport

The West Midlands' football world has seen major upheavel over the past 18 months and this year's sport list reflects those changes

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia(Image: Birmingham Mail)

David Boddy, Coventry City

David Boddy was appointed Coventry City chief executive in the summer, having been appointed commercial director some months before. He is a former chairman of Worcester City and chief executive of Newport County and also spent time at the Football Conference (now the National League) where he was director and assistant general manager. During his time at Newport, the club was promoted back to the Football League.

Mike Chamberlain, Sport Birmingham

Mike Chamberlain is chief executive of Sport Birmingham, the organisation set up to encourage sport and physical activity to improve lives. The body works with national organisations and sport governing bodies as well as funding organisations to improve health across the region. Mike Chamberlain is also chairman of the Birmingham PE and School Sport Strategy Board and the Workplace Wellbeing steering group. He studied sports science and management at Nottingham Trent University and is a circuit training coach with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Laurie Dalrymple, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Laurie Dalrymple joined Wolves in 2014 as head of commercial affairs, becoming managing director in 2016. A business studies graduate from Brunel University, he began his career with VNU Business Publications before moving into event management with London's ExCel centre. He was commercial director of the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for nearly four years. Attendance at promotion-threatening Wolves has increased by an average of 5,000 this season.

Nick Eastwood, Wasps

Wasps deputy chairman Nick Eastwood took over as group chief executive of the rugby club in May, replacing David Armstrong. It is his second stint in the role, having joined Wasps as chief executive in 2012 after a 12-year spell with the Rugby Football Union where he was finance director. Mr Eastwood played a major role in the transformation of Wasps' fortunes. While at the RFU, he helped grow the organisations net worth from £35 million to £180 million while steering the governing body through the economic downturn.

Wasps' deputy chairman Nick Eastwood

Brendan Foster CBE, Great Run Company

Commonwealth champion and legendary long-distance athlete Brendan Foster has been drafted onto the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games bid team. The Olympic bronze medallist already has close ties with Birmingham through his Great Run Company which, working with Birmingham City Council, has been responsible for the Great Birmingham Run, the Great Birmingham 10k and this year's inaugural Birmingham International Marathon.

Xuandong Ren, Birmingham City

Xuandong Ren will forever be known at Birmingham City as the man who hired and fired Harry Redknapp. It's been over a year since Trillion Trophy Asia bought Birmingham City and Mr Ren joined the board as chief executive. He has held a number of high profile positions in China and is the former chief executive of Winning League Sports Technology. Winning League works with Real Madrid and Portugal legend Luis Figo to open football academies across China. One of Mr Ren's strong points is his ability to communicate with supporters - something that has been lacking at Blues in the past.

Xuandong Ren, chief executive of Birmingham City

Ellie Simmonds OBE, Paralympic swimmer

Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds first came to the public's attention when she competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and scooped two gold medals. At 13, she was the youngest member of the team. Her dazzling performances and winning smile soon won the hearts of the nation, particularly when she repeated her double gold feat at the 2012 London Olympics and defended her 200m medley title in Rio with a new world record. In addition, she has won ten gold world championship medals and was the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds(Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Neil Snowball, Warwickshire County Cricket Club

Neil Snowball was appointed chief executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club following the retirement of Colin Povey. Before coming to Edgbaston, he was chief operating officer of the organising committee for the Rugby World Cup responsible for all aspects of the tournament. Before that, he was head of sport for the London 2012 Olympics organising committee. At Warwickshire, he continues to develop Edgbaston as an international cricket venue and in the summer the ground was home to the first ever day-night test match in the country when England beat the West Indies with the pink ball.

Niels de Vos, UK Athletics

Niels de Vos, an ex-pupil of King Edward's School in Birmingham, became chief executive of the sporting governing body UK Athletics in 2007. He quickly became known for his strong anti-doping stance, advocating a lifetime ban for athletes caught using banned substances. He was chief executive at the World Athletics Championships in London earlier this year. Before joining UK Athletics he was chief executive of Sale Sharks rugby club whom he guided to the Premiership title in 2006. He was also commercial and marketing director for the Manchester Commonwealth Games. Mr de Vos is chairman of Birmingham St Mary's Hospice.

John Williams, West Bromwich Albion

Former Blackburn Rovers chairman was appointed to the role of chairman at West Bromwich Albion in August 2016 on the specific recommendation of outgoing owner and chairman Jeremy Peace. He had previously been chairman of the referees' body, the Professional Game Match Officials. At Blackburn, he oversaw their promotion to the Premier League in 2001 and their qualification to the UEFA Europa League three times in five seasons. He now has the advantage of being in charge of one of the most financially sound clubs in the Premiership.

West Bromwich Albion chairman John Williams(Image: Sam Bagnall)

Keith Wyness, Aston Villa

Aberdonian Keith Wyness was appointed chief executive of Aston Villa in the summer of 2016. He has previously been chief executive of Aberdeen and Everton. He began his career in marketing with British Airways, becoming the airline's youngest ever vice-president. Mr Wyness was involved in the marketing campaign for Concorde and was instrumental in the development of BA's Executive Club. He was founder and managing director of The Olympic Club, a marketing programme set up to promote every Olympic Sport in the run up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Tony Xia, Aston Villa

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia told the South China Morning Post that the club would return to the Premier League within two years. That was in October 2016, so time is running out. Mr Xia paid £76 million for the club in June 2016. He has been a Villa supporter since seeing the club when he was a student at University of Oxford. Aged 41, he owns a broad-based Chinese conglomerate - the Recon Group - which has a controlling interest in several publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges. He is chairman and chief executive and his other private companies employ more than 35,000 people in 75 countries.

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