Wigan Athletic takeover: What we know about new club chairman Darren Royle

Darren Royle takes over from David Sharpe
Darren Royle takes over from David Sharpe

Darren Royle has become Wigan Athletic’s executive chairman – but what do we know about him?

The son of former Manchester City manager Joe, he was born on March 7, 1974 in Liverpool, and describes himself on his Linked In profile as a Football Business Executive.

The 44-year-old boasts an impressive academic background, having earned one bachelor and two masters degrees.

The Liverpudlian graduated from the University of Chester in 1996, having completed a Batchelor of Science in Sports Science and Psychology.

Royle returned to the University of Chester one year later to complete a Master of Science in Exercise and Nutrition Science.

In 2008, Royle enrolled at University of Liverpool to study a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing where he graduated in 2010.

He began his working career as a Senior Business Manager at Merck in January 1998. Royle spent 11 years at the Pharmaceutical-focused company before moving to a new venture in sport.

Royle joined Prozone - a leading sports performance anaylsis company - as the European Business Manager. He left three years later in January 2012 to move to Oslo in Norway and took up the Chief Operating Officer role at ANALY7ICS SA for three years.

He was appointed as an Executive Director at Eliteform LTD in January 2014 before he left last month in preparation to start his new role as a board member at Wigan Athletic.

Royle also helped launch the NRL Football Academy in 2014 after approaching K2L with the desire to set up a youth football academy for the North West of England, with the backing of the Evostick and Euromatech Northern Premier League.

The NPL Football Academy is the first in English football to launch an FA-sanctioned youth league, combining football with further education.

Royle was the co-founder of a new MBA qualification with Manchester Metropolitan University around a sporting director course – Wigan Warriors’ Mark Bitcon was a graduate. He left after the Grand Final to join Manchester City.