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.
Phil Alexander, Chief Executive, Crystal Palace FC
Phil is one of the longest serving and highly respected CEO’s in the game having served 24 years at Crystal Palace FC. Phil is also a member of the FA Council, representing the Premier League and sits on the FA’s Professional Game Board.
In his past he played professional football for Norwich City and was the placekicker for the London Monarchs American Football team, winning the World Bowl at Wembley in 1991.
Dave Baldwin, CEO, Burnley FC
Dave Baldwin is the Chief Executive Officer of Premier League side Burnley Football Club
He previously held the same position with hometown club Bradford City.
On the pitch, the Bantams enjoyed great success during Dave’s time in office. In 2013, Bradford became the first club from the bottom division since 1962 to reach the League Cup final and then later that season returned to Wembley to win promotion to League One via the play-offs.
Since moving to Burnley – initially in November, 2014 before taking over as CEO in May, 2015 – Dave has overseen the day-to-day operation of a club that won the Championship title in 2016 and has since established itself in the Premier League, increasing turnover to in excess of £100m a year as one of the most sustainably-run clubs in English football.
Maintaining his links with Bradford, Dave is also chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership, leading a drive to increase Bradford’s economy by £4billion and get 20,000 more people into work over the next 12 years.
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.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, CEO & Director, Everton FC
Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale is one of the most prominent and respected women in sport, and the first female Director to be appointed to Everton’s Board.
Previously Everton’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO, Denise restructured the Club’s top-level operations on becoming Chief Executive in June 2018, a process that led to the appointments of Marcel Brands and Marco Silva as Director of Football and Manager respectively, the creation of the Club’s first Executive Leadership Team, and a move to new headquarters at the iconic Royal Liver Building on Liverpool’s waterfront.
Denise is currently leading the Club’s proposed move to a brand-new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a visionary community-led legacy project for Goodison Park.
Initially arriving at the Football Club in January 2010, Denise developed and led a transformation strategy for the club’s charity Everton in the Community. Under her stewardship, Everton in the Community became a globally-recognised leader among football club community programmes, winning more than 100 local, national and international awards and being awarded multi-million-pound contracts and grants to deliver life-changing and life-enhancing community initiatives. Everton became the first Premier League football club to receive government approval for and then open a Free School.
Denise has appeared on the Top 50 Northern Power List, and was invited to attend a global conference for ‘Faith and Sport’ held at the Vatican. Denise became only the second ever recipient of the ‘Lifetime Role Model Award’ at the Football Is More Conference in Switzerland.
A longstanding advocate of sport and inclusive sport, Denise serves as Chair for the Special Olympics GB Summer Games 2021 bid panel. Previously Denise has served as a board member for Sport England, Deputy Chair to the Liverpool Commonwealth Games Advisory Board and acted as a Non-Executive Director and Vice Chairperson of British Canoeing.
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.
David Boddy, CEO, Coventry City FC
Dave has spent most of his working life in professional sport and is currently Chief Executive of Coventry City FC, who he joined in February 2017. At the Sky Blues he has played his part in the “Mark Robins revolution”, resulting in two wins at Wembley and promotion back into League One.
Prior to that he held the same position at Newport County AFC, where another Wembley win saw them promoted to the EFL. He masterminded the Club’s off the field transition from a Non-League Club to a Football League Club, and established their first Community scheme which has gone from strength to strength.
He spent 10 years as a Director, and Chairman of his home town Club, Worcester City in the Football Conference (now the National League) and during that period he was also a Director of the Football Conference for 5 years and served on the F.A. Alliance committee. After leaving the Board at Worcester City, he then worked for the Football Conference for 3 years.
In the early part of Dave’s career he established and ran his own successful business. Sportslines was a Premium Rate Telephone Information company that provided services and content for many sports Clubs, Leagues and Associations. He eventually sold the business to the market leaders ClubCall, who at the time were owned by Scottish Power, and then worked for ClubCall in various roles including heading the brand.
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.
Donna-Maria Cullen, Executive Director, Tottenham Hotspur
Donna-Maria Cullen has spent over 30 years in management consultancy and corporate
She specialised in the field of corporate and financial communications and marketing,
having also worked in public affairs. Early major campaigns included the privatisation of BP,
Thames Water and AEA Technology.
She advised the Club over a period of 14 years prior to joining the Board in 2006. She is also
a Trustee of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a double Masters in Politics and
Neil 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.
Duncan Fraser, CEO, Aberdeen FC
Duncan Fraser has been Chief Executive of Aberdeen Football Club since 2010 and has held a number of key positions within the wider game including being a former director of the SPL and then the SPFL. He has recently been appointed to the main board of the Scottish Football Association where he brings his considerable experience running one of Scotland’s preeminent clubs. He has served on the Competitions Working Group of the European Club Association and is a UEFA Delegate and FIFA Commissioner.
A Chartered Accountant by trade he has considerable expertise in Oil and Gas having held senior roles in that industry in both financial and commercial roles.
Gavin Hawkey, Foundation Director, Cardiff City FC Community Foundation
Gavin is Foundation Director at Cardiff City FC Foundation, the official charity of Cardiff City FC. Since his appointment in September 2015 Gavin has positioned the Foundation as a leading sport for development charity; increasing revenues, reach and impact.
Gavin has over 15 years’ experience in community sport and major sports events including spells with the Football Association of Wales, the Football Association, Cricket Wales and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. He is a former member of the English Football League Trust Advisory Board, a position he stepped down from when Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League in 2018, and an advisor to the actor and activist Michael Sheen for the Homeless World Cup 2019.
Craig Hepburn, Head of Digital Transformation, UEFA
Craig Hepburn is the Head of Digital Transformation at UEFA the governing body of European Football. Responsible for driving the direction of UEFAs digital products including the recently launched UEFA.tv.
A senior digital marketing executive with over 20 years of digital marketing and technology experience across both B2C and B2B.
Craig has an extensive and deep knowledge in developing and executing digital transformation and marketing engagement strategies that have a proven record in improving business performance. He is a focused and passionate change agent who strives to build world class teams that transform, innovate and disrupt legacy marketing models.
Craig has broad & detailed knowledge of the digital technology landscape, brand planning, online consumer behaviour, mobile marketing, content development and consumer experiences and has been responsible for developing marketing strategies and digital transformation programs for some of the worlds largest brands including Rentokil Initial, STA Travel, Nokia, Microsoft and Tata.
In doing so Craig has been able to develop and deliver world leading digital transformation programs that have fundamentally enhanced how companies engage with customers while also transforming internal business processes to be more relevant in a digital first world
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.
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.
Gary Sweet, CEO, Luton Town
Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet was the man who united a consortium of investors together to save the Hatters from liquidation when they were in administration in 2007/08. As a lifelong Luton supporter and one of the key figures in forming the Luton Town Supporters’ Trust in 2002, he had built up the contacts to enable him to form the 2020 consortium whose mission statement aimed to have the club playing back in the Championship with a new stadium by that year as well as becoming an positive authority in the community.
A five-year hiatus in Non-League, courtesy of a 30-point deduction for the previous owners’ indiscretions, has not prevented Sweet and his fellow custodians from achieving that goal with three promotions and planning approval for a new 23,000-capacity stadium right in the heart of their hometown secured. Along with on-pitch success, Sweet was also named League Two CEO of the Year at the 2017 Football Business Awards.
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.
Troy Townsend, Education Manager, Kick It Out
Troy Townsend is Kick It Out’s, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, head of development. Troy’s main responsibilities are the production and delivery of the organisations educational programmes into the professional academy structure, which includes players, staff and parents.
Troy also leads on the successful Raise Your Game Series of events. Kick It Out’s mentoring programme, which has seen hundreds of industry professionals provide mentoring, guidance and placement opportunities to those seeking meaningful employment in the game.
A lead spokesperson on media requests regarding discrimination in football. Troy has received recognition for his personal continued fight against discrimination.
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.
Susan Whelan, Chief Executive, Leicester City Football Club
Susan holds the unique distinction of being a senior executive of two market-leading companies in entirely different fields, based on opposite sides of the world. With 25 years of experience in the duty free industry, Susan has successfully translated the commercial principles of luxury retail to the world of professional football. As Senior Executive Vice President within the King Power Group, Susan oversees the company’s purchasing and merchandising functions, as well as corporate planning and commercial development strategy for all of King Power’s airport retail outlets and four downtown duty-free shopping malls in Thailand.
Her experience and business acumen made her the ideal candidate to lead implementation of King Power’s long-term vision for Leicester City Football Club. As Chief Executive Officer, Susan has been instrumental in the Club’s journey from the EFL Championship League to the Premier League title and the UEFA Champions League. She is now heading the project team delivering the new 180-acre Training Ground and stadium expansion and facilities development by 2020. She also represents King Power on the main Board of the Belgian club, OH Leuven, and sits on the board of LCFC’s two charitable trusts, the VS Foundation and LCFC Community Trust.
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.
Leeann Dempster, CEO, Hibernian Football Club
Andy Holt, Chairman, Accrington Stanley
Nicola Ibbetson, CCO, Aston Villa FC
Gary Twelvetree, Director of Marketing, Chelsea FC