Joint owner of Tranmere Rovers FC, Mark Palios, joins board of Stanlow refinery owner Essar Oil UK. Tony McDonough reports
Stanlow oil refinery owner Essar Oil UK (EOUK) has announced the appointment of Tranmere Rovers FC joint owner Mark Palios as a non-executive director.
Mr Palios, a former professional footballer, has been the co-owner of Tranmere, along with his wife Nicola, since 2014. EOUK operates the Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port from where it supplies 16% of all UK road fuels.
It is looking to “strengthening its corporate governance framework”. It has endured a tough period over the past couple of years. Plummeting demand during pandemic lockdowns caused the business to seek more than £800m in extra cash to shore up its finances.
In recent weeks it has moved forward with plans to decarbonise its production facilities. EOUK has signed a deal with Vertex Energy which will supply hydrogen for a new £45m furnace. It is also creating a £1bn hydrogen production hub at Stanlow as part of the £47bn North West HyNet hydrogen project.
During his professional football career Mr Palios played for a number of clubs including Tranmere and Crewe Alexandra. He hung up his boots in 1986 and went on to have a successful career as an accountant. He worked as a senior partner for PwC, specialising in business turnaround.
In 2003, he was appointed as chief executive of the Football Association. He offers extensive non-executive and executive board experience, sitting on the boards of a number of organisations and businesses.
Essar has a well-established, long-term relationship with Tranmere Rovers. The partnership includes shirt and commercial sponsorship, but also a commitment to supporting the local charitable causes championed by the club.
Mr Palios said: “This is an exciting time in the company’s continued growth plans, as it delivers on its commitment for transforming for tomorrow by becoming a leader in the energy transition.
“I’ve seen first-hand the importance Essar gives to the local community, not just in its sponsorship of Tranmere Rovers, but across its operations.”
Prashant Ruia, chairman of EOUK, added: “As chairman of Tranmere Rovers, we have got to know Mark and worked with him in supporting the activities of this leading community club. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance, and this appointment forms a central part of that.”