At a time when Bruno’s Magpies now head into what should be next season’s National League they have announced the arrival of former Watford FC Director.
In a press statement issued today Brunos Magpies announced;
‘Magpies welcome Olympian and former Watford FC owner and chairman to its board of directors.
Haig Oundjian has joined the board of FC Brunos Magpies Limited as joint chairman and has taken a minority stake in this year’s second division champions.
Along with Sir Elton John, Haig initiated the flotation of Watford Leisure PLC and served as vice chairman and later as chairman of the board of Watford FC as well as on various finance, remuneration and audit committees in independent companies.
During these years at Watford and under Graham Taylor, the club experienced two promotions in two seasons to reach the Premier League and together with Graham Taylor and Ed Coan won praise from the FA for community and education initiatives under the FA Playing for Success programme. During his tenure, he also secured the best ever training ground in the WFC history, which is an essential foundation for development for any football club. It continues to be used and improved to this day and the team has made great progress across the age categories
Haig also served on the board of the FL first division (now championship) and the Football League.
With talents not just restricted to football management, Haig was also three times Figure Skating Champion of Great Britain, European free skating Champion, competed in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, was top six in the world and is recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records. Haig was nominated for BBC Sportsman of the Year in 1971 and voted Winter Sportsman of the Year.
Haig later spent sixteen years in a variety of roles: CEO, chairman and president of the National Ice Skating Association of UK, working closely with Sport England, UK Sport and the British Olympic Association.
One highlight was in 2002 when he hosted Her Majesty the Queen at the opening of the Nottingham National Ice Centre for her Golden Jubilee with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.
Another highlight was joining the London Delegation in 2005 in Singapore with PM Tony Blair and Lord Coe, to win the bid to host the 2012 Olympics
Haig’s forty year business career pans sports and venture capital and he is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants.
Haig’s interest in FC Brunos’s Magpies stems from his desire to help youth development n professional and educational qualifications.
In 2000 he completed a life dream as the founding sponsor of the £26m Harefield Academy Secondary School, the first integrated state sports school in the UK with boarding facilities. Watford FC scholars attended the school (including Jadon Sancho) as did a variety of potential Olympic athletes (Marvin Sordell). The concept and timetable were based on the Dutch (Ajax) and French (Lyons) Sports schools.
Haig said “My initial attraction to the club started with my appreciation of the club’s desires to grow on and off the pitch. The club has a vibrance, a supporter base and a desire. I believe I can assist them further whilst also bringing some value to youth development and education of young sports men and women generally in Gibraltar”.
Louis Perry, joint chairman, stated “I am delighted to welcome Haig to the club. His vast experience and contacts will help guide us over the next few years as we establish ourselves as a major local football force on and off the field with some interesting initiatives to come.”
Haig is retired – a resident of Gibraltar and married with three daughters.’