Vivienne Aiyela, Non Executive Director of Football at The London Football Association
Vivienne has over 15 years of experience working across corporate, public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors working at a senior level in HR, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion throughout her career. Vivienne is Non-Executive Director of Football at the London FA and since 2013, Vivienne has held the position of Chair of the Footballer’s Anti-Discrimination Disciplinary Panel for the FA. Recently became Arbitration and Mediation Panel Member for The Sports Resolution. She is currently an Advisor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Senior Leadership team, has held the position of Chair and Co-Ordinator of the CIPD Diversity and Inclusion Special Interest Group, and, Co-Chair of BAME Challenge by the House of Commons and Inclusive Employers. A public speaker and judge for events and experience of sitting on numerous committees and she’s also a member of Women in Football and has a keen interest and expertise in the sport.
Paul Barber, Chief Executive, Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Paul Barber joined the board of Brighton & Hove Albion FC as Chief Executive in June 2012.
Previously, Paul became the first British football executive to lead a team in to Major League Soccer when Vancouver Whitecaps FC entered the league in March 2011. He joined the Vancouver Whitecaps from Tottenham Hotspur FC, where he was the Club’s Executive Director for 5 years.
In addition to 14 years working in professional football, Paul has held senior positions in major international companies such as Barclays Bank PLC, where he was a member of the retail board, Ogilvy & Mather, the US-based advertising and communications group, where he was Chief Executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Abbey National PLC, now part of Santander, the Spanish banking group.
Richard Bevan, Chief Executive, League Managers Association
Richard was appointed Chief Executive of the League Managers Association in January 2008. Richard is a prominent character in the world of sport and business with a strong track record of devising and achieving strategic visions, implementing long-term business plans and growing sports organisations nationally and internationally across different cultures.
He joined the Professional Cricketers’ Association in 1996 & became Chief Executive in 2001 to 2007, developing the profile and business of the organisation to becoming a major player in world of cricket. Richard was also a founding Director of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations.
Richard has been a Trustee of the Team England Player Partnership since 2002 which provides contractual, financial, commercial representation to all England Cricket players. He also represents the LMA as a member of the Professional Players’ Federation, the umbrella body for all players’ associations.
Richard was also appointed Chairman of The board of The Caribbean Premier Cricket League (CPL) in November 2013. Within two years the CPL has been confirmed as the number one sports event in the Caribbean, second only to the IPL in International T20 Cricket. CPL has an economic impact in the Caribbean of US167m.
Sue Bridgewater, Professor of Sports Business and Director of the Centre for Sports Business at Liverpool University
Sue is a Professor of Sports Business and Director of the Centre for Sports Business at Liverpool University. Sue has been involved in football for 17 years, she is Head of Learning for the LMA, for whom she designed and directs the Diploma in Football Management. She is also a Director of Women in Football, member of the UEFA Research Grants and Awards Committee and teaches on football and sports business courses around the world for clients including Josoor Institute, Qatar and Portuguese Football Federation. Sue has authored of a number of books, chapters and articles on football and sports marketing and business.
Mark Catlin, Chief Executive, Portsmouth FC
Mark Catlin assisted fans in the saving of Portsmouth FC whilst in administration during 2012, and following the acquisition of PFC by supporters in 2013, he stayed on to become CEO of the country’s largest Trust owned football club. The clearing of over £7m of debt and four years continuous annual profits followed, along with promotion as Champions from L2. He was then a key figure in the takeover of the club during the summer of 2017 by former Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner’s Tornante group.
Mark has many year’s experience of building his own successful private businesses, currently owning Spain’s largest independent telecommunications Company.
He is also a previous FC Business overall CEO of the year award winner.
Cliff Crown FCA, Chairman, Brentford FC
Cliff Crown FCA has been Chairman of Brentford for the past five seasons and on the Football Club’s Board of Directors for six years. He is also a two years in to a three-year term on the EFL Board as one of 3 representatives from the Championship. Cliff has also been a Director of Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland for four years.
Cliff is a chartered accountant with more than 35 years’ experience in advising commercial owner managed businesses. He acts as Chief Financial Officer and business adviser to a number of companies in which Brentford FC owner Matthew Benham has a financial interest. Cliff is also a long-standing football fan and is seen at most Brentford games up and down the country as well as many others as part of his role on the EFL Board.
Laurie Dalrymple, Managing Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
Laurie Dalrymple joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 2014 as Head of Commercial affairs, successfully increasing the clubs commercial turnover by 45% in the preceding years before the clubs acquisition by Fosun International in 2016. Following that takeover, Laurie was appointed to the position of Managing Director, whereby he now oversees the entirety of the clubs day to day operations. Having played in the Sky Bet Championship since 2014, the club successfully gained promotion to the Premier League finishing the 2017/18 season as Champions. In addition to having responsibility for the football club, Laurie is the Chairman of the board of Trustees for Wolverhampton Wanderers Community Trust who deliver in excess of 200 sport sessions per week, and in excess of 161,747 sports contacts with children and young people in the Wolverhampton area per year.
Prior to his role at Wolves, Laurie was Executive Director for Compass Group at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, with responsibility for the catering and commercial delivery across all sporting, concert and non-match day operations.
Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive, Scottish Premier League
Neil Doncaster has been involved in football for the last 16 years. A solicitor by training, he came into the game when providing legal advice in relation to Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers. In 1997 he joined Norwich City as Company Secretary and, at the age of 31, became their Chief Executive. In his twelve years at City, the Club re-built its reputation with supporters, with season ticket numbers trebling over the period to 20,000 and the Club receiving a number of awards for community, business development and innovation.
While with Norwich, Neil was elected to the Board of the Football League and subsequently to that of the Football Association. In 2009 Neil left Norwich City to become the Chief Executive of the Scottish Premier League.
He now lives in Glasgow and is currently leading the League’s efforts to restructure the whole of the game in Scotland.
Duncan Fraser, Chief Executive, Aberdeen FC
Duncan Fraser has been involved in football for the last 16 years. A Chartered Accountant to trade, he came into the game as Company Secretary at Aberdeen FC and over the years was promoted until he was made Chief Executive in 2010. Since then he has overseen the Club’s transition to being debt free and alongside the recently restructured board and executive team leading the drive towards delivering a new stadium and training facilities on one site to the west of the city.
During his time he has held senior positions within football as a Board member of the SPFL and the SFA Professional Game Board as well as being a member of the competitions committee of the ECA.
Simon Hunter, Head of Venue & Brand, Chelsea FC
Simon Hunter is Head of Venue and Development at Chelsea Football Club. Simon plays a pivotal role in the continual development of commercial operations across the matchday and non-matchday business areas at Chelsea FC, delivering an unrivalled experience for all stadium guests and fans.
Simon oversees a world-class matchday hospitality offering at Chelsea Football Club, over 60 multi-functional meetings and events spaces, Frankie’s Sports Bar & Diner, the Chelsea Health Club & Spa and the unique underground music venue, Under the Bridge. Responsibilities also include the management of the Millennium & Copthorne on-site hotels management contract and the joint venture with the Levy Compass Group, an award winning organisation who support every business area to deliver culinary excellence.
His current focus is to ensure that Stamford Bridge continues to be recognised as one of the world’s leading multi-purpose sporting venues.
Steve Kavanagh, Chief Executive, Millwall Football Club
Steve Kavanagh is in his first full season as chief executive of Millwall Football Club having joined The Lions in October 2016.
A qualified chartered accountant, Kavanagh began his career in football at Charlton Athletic back in 2002, firstly as a finance director before taking over as CEO. He remained at The Valley for over 10 years before departing and taking up the same position at Southend United in October 2012, helping the Roots Hall club secure promotion to League One in the process.
Kavanagh is working hard to help Millwall consolidate their position as a healthy and successful Championship club on and off the pitch following victory over Bradford City in the League One Play-Off Final back in May 2017.
Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing, Communications & Community, Chief Executive of Everton in the Community
Richard was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in January 2014 following an interim consultancy role with the Club. He arrived at Everton from Kenyon Fraser which – initially as Managing Director and then as Chief Executive – he built into one of the leading marketing and communications agencies in the North and one of the fastest-growing in the UK.
A lifelong Evertonian, his role is to oversee and drive Marketing, Insight, Corporate Communications, PR and Media functions, Fan Services and the Club’s Fan Centre.
Richard previously worked for the Professional Footballers Association and Major League Soccer and acted as Interim Head of Marketing and Communications for The Jockey Club in the North West and the Grand National. He has also worked closely with the R&A on golf’s oldest major, the Open Championship.
In June 2018, Richard took on an expanded role to become Director of Marketing, Communications & Community, also taking on the position of Chief Executive of Everton in the Community.
Georgina Lewis, Head of Marketing, The FA
Georgina joined The FA last year at pivotal time for the organisation as it embarked on a digital transformation journey to create new ways to enable football and engage with fans. Georgina’s remit includes marketing for the England teams, the Emirates FA Cup, as well as a big focus on doubling women’s football.
Prior to The FA, Georgina spent 13 years at Microsoft with the latter half of her time there dedicated to digital transformation both of our own operations and for customers.
Alistair Mackintosh, Chief Executive, Fulham FC
Alistair Mackintosh joined Fulham Football Club as Chief Executive in the summer of 2008. He was previously Chief Executive at Manchester City Football Club and over a ten year period saw the Club travel from the Second Division back to the Premier League and from its Maine Road home to the City of Manchester Stadium.
Having trained as a Chartered Accountant with PWC, Alistair spent a number of years working for Sony before entering the football business. He has also held Board positions at a radio station, a museum, a leisure centre group and a charity.
Danny Macklin, Chief Executive, Leyton Orient Football Club
Danny has been with Leyton Orient Football Club since November 2017. With over 10 years sport administration and commercial experience Danny has worked for Essex County Cricket Club in various senior Commercial and Marketing roles before joining Southend United as Commercial Director in 2015.
Macklin prides himself on fan engagement and the growth of commercial income to further strengthen playing budgets. The Club, now under new owners, have a strong desire to return to the Football League in the near future and to do so as a family and community focused Club.
Andrew Moss, Chairman, Sport and Recreation Alliance
Andrew was appointed chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance on 1 January 2016.
Currently also chairman of Parker Fitzgerald and Rhino Rugby, Andrew has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in financial services.
Andrew spent five years as Group CEO of Aviva, where he previously worked as Group Finance Director. Before that he spent four years as Director of Finance, Risk Management and Operations at Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance market. He has also occupied senior positions at HSBC and Citibank.
The Alliance published its new 5-year strategy, The Heart of an Active Nation, in March 2017 and Andrew welcomes the chance to drive forward the Alliance’s mission of creating a vibrant sport and recreation sector which is fit for the future.
Tony Scholes, Chief Executive, Stoke City Football Club
Tony Scholes joined Stoke City as their Chief Executive in September 2004 and during his tenure has been an influential figure in progress which now sees the Club looking forward to a 10th successive season in the Premier League.
As well as being responsible for formulating the Club’s strategy with the Club’s Owners and the operational delivery of those plans across all areas, he plays the lead role in the negotiation of all player transfers and contracts.
A former Director of the Football League and member of the FA Council, Tony previously spent six years as the Chief Executive of Preston North End before leaving that post in 2002 to set up a sports lottery business prior to his appointment at the Britannia Stadium.
After graduating from Nottingham University, obtaining a degree in industrial economics, he began his career with KPMG, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
Bob Symns, Chief Executive Officer at Peterborough United FC
Bob Symns joined the board of Peterborough United FC as Chief Executive in May 2004.
He joined PUFC when Barry Fry originally bought the football club and asked him to ‘run the business’ whilst Barry managed the football team … the adventure had begun.
Having been initially trained as a classical apprentice chef at the Travellers Club in London’s Pall Mall, he went on to become the UK Group Catering & Leisure Executive Manager for the Pearl Assurance before forming his own contract catering companies GBS Catering Limited and GBS Associates Limited. When the business was sold in 2004 (with PUFC being a client) Mr Fry asked the question.
Bob was named Sky Bet League 1 Chief Executive Officer of the Year 2015 at the FC Business Awards and sits on the EFL Commercial Committee.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive Officer, Football Foundation
Before joining the Football Foundation as CEO in 2006, Paul enjoyed a very successful career in the RAF where he saw active service in support of operations in the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and both Gulf Wars, mostly in the operational logistics role. The Football Foundation is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government, who provide £62 million per year towards the development of community football facilities across the country. Up until recently, Paul was on the Global Board of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and remains as a trustee on the CIPS Foundation. He is a lay member on the House of Commons Committee on Standards and is a former Director of the Sports and Recreation Alliance. He has an MA from Kings College London and a post graduate diploma in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick.
Alex Tunbridge, Chief Executive Officer, Stevenage FC
The EFL youngest CEO has recently been at the helm of League Two’s Newport County AFC who over the past 18 months have seen the Club transform both on and off the field, following their dramatic final day survival at the end of the 2016/17 season. Since that pivotal moment the Club has seen its Season Ticket sales double, average attendances rise by 39% and the Club draw the attention of the footballing world with its recent FA Cup run which culminated in an Fourth Round Replay against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
Alex holds a strong background in community and supporter engagement having previously established and run Stevenage FC’s Foundation, running a variety of local, national and international programmes including several based in Africa. Following a successful time at supporter owned Newport County AFC Alex will return to his former Club Stevenage FC in the role of CEO for the 2018/19 season.
Kelly Williams, Director of the Women’s Sport Network
Kelly was appointed as Non Exec Director of The Women’s Sports Network in 2017 and is a major share holder and Managing Director of Sports Revolution Ltd.
Kelly has amassed 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing and rights management. Finally joining Sports Revolution in 2004 from JC Decaux she has managed some of the company’s highest-profile projects, including Ford Champions League, BEKO FA CUP, and Heineken. As well as offering clients extensive sales expertise.
Sports Revolution Consulting are a forward thinking award winning sports consultancy specialising in the marriage of sponsorship delivery and media valuation. Our unique approach to valuing negotiating and activating sponsorships – deliver tangible and significant results from future proof social additions to traditional title sponsorships – including award wining facebook pages, market leading social activation campaigns and real measurement against KPI’s, through to the global valuation of market by market delivery of sponsor signage based on real audience numbers and actual media market rates.
Róisín Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Kick it Out
Roisin has been the CEO of Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity, since 2011.
She was born in County Down and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2018 for services to tackling discrimination in football.
Roisin, a former netball international, previously held roles at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, helping ex-prisoners rebuild their lives after prison. She later moved to London where she began working for the Metropolitan Police as a community engagement manager.
After a couple of years Roisin took her first steps into the world of football as head of equalities with the Football Foundation.
A University of Ulster graduate, Roisin has also lived in Los Angeles and France and spent time working for Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua.
Aaron Gourley, Editor, fcbusiness magazine