The 2019 judging panel is currently being assembled. Those who have accepted to date include the following:

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_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 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.

Neil_DoncastorNeil Doncaster, Chief Executive, Scottish Professional Football League

Neil Doncaster has been involved in football for the last 22 years. A solicitor by training, he joined Norwich City in 1997 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. Neil joined the Scottish Premier League in 2009 and, following the merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League in 2013, Neil became the Chief Executive of the Scottish Professional Football League (“SPFL”).  Neil is the only person ever to have sat on the Boards of both The FA and The Scottish FA.

The SPFL recently announced new long-term and enhanced live broadcast rights contracts with Sky Sports and Premier Sports and record fee payments to the SPFL’s 42 member clubs.

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.


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.


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 saw the Club spend a decade 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.

Tony is also Chair of the Board of Trustees for Stoke City’s Community Trust, which works with approximately 150,000 children and young people across Staffordshire each year.

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-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.

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.



Troy Townsend, Education Manager, Kick It Out

Gary Sweet, CEO, Luton Town

Craig Hepburn, Head of Digital Transformation, UEFA