2017 Judges

paul_barberPaul 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-1Richard 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.

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 continuous annual profits followed, along with promotion as Champions from L2 earlier this season.

Previously CEO of Bury FC where again over his three year tenure promotion to L1 was achieved, along with a clearing of the club’s debts, and a return to profit achieved.

Mark has many year’s experience of building his own successful private businesses, currently owning Spain’s largest independent telecommunications Company.

He is also the current FC Business League 2, and overall CEO of the year award winner.

Neil_DoncastorNeil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the 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.


Russ Green, Chief Executive Rochdale AFC

Recently appointed Chief Executive at Rochdale AFC following his various roles at Hartlepool United.

Russ Green began work at Hartlepool United in 2002, initially drafted in as the Club’s Commercial Manager before taking on the Chief Executive role in 2005. Russ has an extensive background in the retail sector, having taken control of the family business Jack Green Sports which operated various well-known outlets in the Yorkshire region. His first taste of the football industry came at Scarborough where his innovative approach to business saw the coastal club become the first to sell sponsorship of their ground which was re-named The McCain Stadium. In 2011/12, Russ oversaw Hartlepool’s innovative and extremely successful Season Ticket campaign ‘Are You Coming To Pools?’ which saw the club increase Season Ticket holders from 2,000 to nearly 6,000. Last year he was named Chief Executive of the Year at the FC Business Awards.

alistair_mackintoshAlistair 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.


Lisa Pearce MBA, CEO, London Football Association

Lisa Pearce is the CEO of London FA and has a track record of over ten years experience in strategic management in sports across the public, private and third sectors.

In her previous role of Head of Region for the Lawn Tennis Association in London and the South East at the governing body of sport for British tennis, Lisa has had a mirror responsibility to that she currently holds at the London FA – the running of the game (including cup competitions), the profile of the association, and participation at all levels of the game.

Notably, Lisa had also taken on the role of Davis Cup Legacy Business Lead for British Tennis, leading a cross-functional team of over 20 LTA staff and 48 county coordinators to recruit 1000 coaches, who will provide free tennis to 10,000 new young people this summer.  During 2015, monthly tennis participation in London had increased by 22,000.

Prior to the Lawn Tennis Association, Lisa was a Director of Sports and Enterprise for the Westway Trust (2013-2014); Director of Sport and Physical Activity for the Sports Aberdeen Charitable Trust (2012-13), and Managing Partner at an independent business incubator/change agency (2012).  While at Reading Borough Council (2003-2012) she held a number of strategic sports roles, including Culture & Sports Services Manager (2009-2012) and Sport Service Manager (2006-2009).

Perry-KeithKeith Perry, Group Sport Managing Editor, Telegraph Media Group

Keith Perry is a Fleet Street veteran of more than 30 years’ experience. He is a former Daily Telegraph sports editor who now works across the Telegraph group as Managing Director, Sport and runs the Telegraph sponsorship and partnership business.




Ben Robinson, Chief Executive, Burton Albion FC

Ben Robinson is the Chairman and owner of Burton Albion FC.  He has been the Chairman of the Club for over 30 years.

Under Ben’s stewardship he has heled guide the club from the second tier in non-league football to the Championship – enjoying four promotions (three as Champions).

Ben has always paced great emphasis on supporting the local community with the formation of the Burton Albion Community Trust which was established in 2010 and for the past two seasons the Trust was voted Midlands Community Club of the Year by the E.F.L.

Ben masterminded the Club’s move to the new Pirelli Stadium in 2005 which was completed at a total cost of £7.4m.


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.

Paul-ThorogoodPaul 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.

Also confirmed

Phil Alexander, Chief Executive, Crystal Palace FC

David Baldwin, Chief Executive, Burnley FC

Steve Curwood, CEO, Fleetwood Town FC

Karl Evans, CEO, Bury FC

Steve Kavanagh, CEO, Millwall Football Club

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive, Football Supporters’ Federation