Why the Football Business Awards?
Celebrate with your team
Being an award-winner is a powerful motivator to inspire you and your colleagues to keep up the great work!
Enhance your reputation
Appending an independently judged third-party badge of excellence is a sure-fire shortcut to emphasising your merit to colleagues, clients, bosses & stakeholders.
Generate positive headlines
Spread the good news - everyone loves a success story and winning an award is a great publicity hook for social and traditional media efforts
Aspire to Better Practice
Winner or not - seeing what others do for their products is an irreplacable source of tried & tested award-worthy ideas!
Former Chief Executive, Wigan Athletic FC
Malachy BranniganFormer Chief Executive, Wigan Athletic FC
Malachy Brannigan has held senior executive and board positions in all four divisions of English professional football as well as Managing Director positions in both Scottish and Irish football across a 27-year career in football administration.
Mal has been a member on both the commercial and finance working parties of the English Football League (EFL) and was one of the Founding Trustees of the EFL Trust, a charity whose focus – through the network of the EFL’s Club Community Organisations – is on improving health and wellbeing, raising aspirations and realising potential, and building stronger, more cohesive communities.
Mal graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, with a master’s degree for Sporting Directors and has also been a Board Director at GreaterSport as well as guest lecturing on a number of post-graduate and master’s degree courses on matters such as leadership, change management, fan engagement and governance.
In March 2021, he was appointed Chief Executive by Phoenix 2021 Limited to oversee Wigan Athletic FC and to work with the Club’s management team to drive Wigan Athletic forward in a new era under new ownership. Having survived the 20/21 season by a single point, the Club achieved promotion as Champions in 21/22 and won the Fan Engagement Award at both of the prestigious Football Business Awards and the Sports Industry Awards events, in conjunction with Stadimax.
Mal is also a previous FC Business Overall CEO of the Year Award winner.
CEO, Leyton Orient FC
Mark DevlinCEO, Leyton Orient FC
With over 20 years in professional football, Mark is one of the most experienced and long standing CEO’s in English Football, having been CEO at Swindon Town, QPR, Brentford and Huddersfield Town AFC .
From 2011-2018, Mark oversaw the rise of Brentford from a mid-table League One club, to a financially stable, Championship club challenging at the top of the League. Mark was also involved in the development and planning for the new Brentford Community Stadium which opened earlier this year.
Devlin enjoyed a spell in The Republic of Ireland, with the Champions, Dundalk, in 2019. During his time, Dundalk not only retained their title, but also included experience of both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, before returning to England to take on the CEO role at Huddersfield Town in January 2020.
Mark was also a member of the EFL Commercial Committee between 2014-2018 as one of three Championship representatives.
Chief Executive, Scottish Professional Football League
Neil DoncasterChief Executive, Scottish Professional Football League
NeNeil Doncaster has been involved in football for the last 25 years. He joined Norwich City in 1997 as Company Secretary and, four years later 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 English 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 first 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.
Earlier this year, the SPFL announced new long-term and record-breaking live broadcast rights contracts with Sky Sports and Viaplay. In summer 2022, the senior women’s leagues were brought into the SPFL’s governance structure, with the creation of the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, the SPFL has recently announced record fee payments to the SPFL’s 42 member clubs for 2021/22.
Former Chief Executive/Secretary, Port Vale FC
Colin GarlickFormer Chief Executive/Secretary, Port Vale FC
Colin Garlick is a football administration executive with almost 40 years of experience ranging from grassroots to elite level.
Garlick’s career began on a voluntary basis as a representative on the Macclesfield District FA in 1983, in 1998 he was named as a Life Member of the Macclesfield District FA and remains a Life Member of the North East Cheshire District FA following the merger of Stockport, Macclesfield and Stalybridge & Hyde respective District FAs in 2020.
In 1993, Garlick joined Macclesfield Town FC as a voluntary club secretary before becoming the club’s full-time chief executive and club secretary during a period in which the club won back-to-back promotion from the Conference to the then Second Division. In 2005, Colin joined Rochdale AFC and spent 11-and-a-half years at Spotland, during which time Dale twice won promotion to League One, having also reached the League Two Play-Offs on two occasions.
In September 2016, Garlick joined Port Vale as chief executive and club secretary and played an important role in the Shanahan family’s acquisition of the Valiants in May 2019. The Vale were named EFL Community Club of the Year in 2020 for their community outreach work during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Garlick and other club staff rallied together with chair Carol Shanahan OBE to provide 300,000 meals in a heroic effort to support fans and local residents.
In 2018, Garlick became Cheshire County FA’s representative on the FA Council, before he enjoyed a fifth promotion of his career when Port Vale returned to League One after a five-year absence by winning the League Two Play-Off final at Wembley in May 2022.
In April last year, Garlick was named as the fcbusiness League Two CEO of the Year at the 2022 Football Business Awards for his leadership throughout the 2021/22 season.
CEO, Bristol Rovers FC
Tom GorringeCEO, Bristol Rovers FC
Tom has worked within the professional game for over a decade. He started at Portsmouth FC as an intern, working in every department before settling in the marketing department in a full-time role.
During his time at the club he experienced two relegations, two administrations and an FA Cup Final. The highlight of his time at the club was receiving the Family Club of the Year award in 2012. This achievement marked a stark change from the clubs failure to achieve the Football League’s family Excellence standard just a year earlier.
From Portsmouth, Tom moved to Cardiff and in the first year, he oversaw increased matchday hospitality revenue by over 200% from the previous season as well as leading us to the 2013 Family Club of the year Award.
He then moved to Brighton & Hove Albion as Head of Marketing where he was responsible for our sales strategies for all club commercial channels including ticketing, commercial, retail and non-matchday events. Tom worked at the club during their promotion to the Premier League and was responsible for overseeing their sales and marketing strategy on their multi-million pound five year hospitality renewal project.
In 2015, he received the Rising Star Award at the Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona and in 2016 he was part of the inaugural Sports Industry Next Gen programme.
Last year, Tom was promoted to the post of Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Rovers Football Club becoming one of the youngest CEO’s in professional football. He lead the club to promotion back to League One with a 7-0 victory on the final day elevating Rovers into the top three by a single goal, whilst also driving standards across all parts of the business.
Director/Advisor to the Board of Futsallers Foundation
Vivienne AiyelaDirector/Advisor to the Board of Futsallers Foundation
Vivienne has over 20 years of experience working across public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors working at a senior level as a Management Consultant/Business Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist. She wears many hats incuding Director/Advisor to the CEO of the Global Sport Digital Platform for Futsal called E-Sports Inc Ltd, Chair of the Footballer’s Anti-Discrimination Disciplinary Panel for the FA, Sport Resolutions’ Panel Member of Arbitration and Mediation and Non-Executive Director of Football at the London FA portfolio includes Chairing Women and Girls Advisory Group and the Inclusion Advisory Group. Also an Advisor (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Senior Leadership team. A mentor for young people and women in leadership, a public speaker, judge for events and experience of sitting on numerous committees.
CEO, Bristol City FC
Phil AlexanderCEO, Bristol City FC
Phil is one of the longest serving and highly respected CEO’s in the game having served 25 years at Crystal Palace FC. and is currently CEO at Bristol City FC. Phil has also served on The FA Council, representing the Premier League and sat 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.