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Dominic Ford new chairman of Bags also MD Roar! Betting

Dominic Ford: takes over as Bags chairman in January

Roar! owner Ford the new Bags chairman

DOMINIC FORD has been announced as chairman designate of Bags and will take over from incumbent Tom Kelly on January 1.

Ford, 47, who is the Association of British Bookmakers vice chairman, has been a director of Bags for four and a half years, and is owner of London independent firm Roar! betting.

Kelly, 71, who last month announced his intention to retire from his Bags role but is to remain chairman of the Fund, said: “I’m very pleased that Dominic is stepping up to the plate and I hope he enjoys it as much as I have done.”

He says there are plenty of challenges ahead for Ford, but adds “possibly technology is the most important, there’s all kinds of issues being raised – there’s so much more happening today compared to when I started, not only in terms of volume but also new channels.”

Ford agreed the new channels element is of great interest. “Bags racing is the strongest and best in this marketplace and the Board will seek to maintain and develop world-wide interest for the benefit of all, including the grass roots. We have seen the stats about the decline in the numbers of greyhounds and trainers, and we will want to help improve those.”

He said he saw Bags racing as something that helps underpin the whole industry, both bookmaking and greyhounds. “It’s the perfect example of the way everybody can work for the common good, and under Tom, a fantastic product of great integrity emerged. Our job is to maintain, and if possible, develop it further.”

Ford added that the Board is also looking at the chief executive role – which had also been held by Kelly. “A separate appointment will be made there in due course.”