Non Executive Director of Football at The London Football Association
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.
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.
Chief Executive & Deputy Chairman, 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.
Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale
CEO & Director, Everton FC
In 2010, after 16 years in the education and third sector, Denise was appointed CEO of Everton in the Community and spearheaded the transformation of the Club’s official charity into an internationally acclaimed organisation.
Through her vision and expertise, the charity now delivers over 40 programmes, using the power of sport to motivate, educate and inspire some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach people, improving their life chances.
Under her leadership, Everton in the Community was awarded A ‘Big Society Award’ from then-Prime Minister David Cameron. She was also the visionary behind Everton becoming the first Premier League football club to receive government approval to open a Free School – the Everton Free School and Sixth Form College.
She also secured a £7.5million commission contract to deliver the National Citizenship Programme, a £1.2million Big National Lottery Fund contract for youth engagement initiatives and an £850,000 grant for a flagship ‘community hub’ adjacent to Goodison Park – accomplishments that have contributed to the charity receiving over 100 local, national and international awards in the last decade.
Denise’s success with the charity resulted in her taking on a greater role within Everton. In 2011 she was appointed Chief Operating Officer, before being promoted to Deputy Chief Executive Officer in 2012.
In 2016 Denise was appointed to Everton’s Board of Directors and, in June 2018, became the Club’s Chief Executive Officer. Since becoming the Club’s CEO, Denise has overseen the appointments of Marcel Brands as Director of Football and Carlo Ancelotti as Manager, created the Club’s first Executive Leadership Team, and relocated the Club’s headquarters to the iconic Royal Liver Building on Liverpool’s waterfront.
Denise also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Everton in the Community.
Head of Foundation, Newcastle United Foundation
Steve is Head of Foundation at the award winning Newcastle United Foundation where he oversees a team of 175 full and part time staff, delivering community interventions to over 65,000 each year.
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.
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 a double promotion from League Two to the Championship.
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.
Chief Executive, Motherwell Football Club
Alan Burrows’ ascent to become Chief Executive of Motherwell Football Club started from a journey to a pre-season camp in Austria in 2007.
Impressed at the endeavour of having travelled alone to write about the trip for a fans’ website, he was given a job by the club as media manager. Winning multiple awards in his role and becoming heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business, he was promoted to the role of General Manager in 2014, before stepping up again to Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and Chief Executive a year later.
Under his stewardship, Motherwell have transitioned to full fan ownership while thriving both on and off the pitch. Highlights include recording the club’s best-ever revenue and net profit performance in 2017/18, negotiating over £8m in player sales and the club’s record transfer received, clearing the club’s inherited external debt of £2m within three years and making significant infrastructure improvements across all areas of the club. That against the on-field backdrop of reaching two cup finals and recording top half finishes in 33% of seasons in the job, including a third place finish in 2019/20 and a return to the UEFA Europa League.
Alan was named as the SPFL CEO of the Year in the 2019 Football Business Awards and was a member of the board of the Scottish Professional Football League from 2018 to 2020.
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.
Executive Director, Tottenham Hotspur
Donna is an Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Director of Tottenham Hotspur Women Football Club. She has spent over 25 years in business management. She is also a Trustee of the Club’s charitable organisation, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Donna was previously with Lord Bell’s group of companies, Chime plc and was Deputy MD of Good Relations. She specialised in the field of corporate and financial communications and marketing, having also worked in public affairs. Early major campaigns included the privatization of BP, Thames Water and AEA Technology. She advised the Club over a period of 14 years prior to joining the Board in 2006, Donna currently oversees the Club’s Planning Consultations, Communications, Content and Marketing departments.
She graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1984 with a double Masters in Politics and English.
Ambassador, Premier League & International Ambassador, Football Association
David joined the Arsenal Board in 1983 and was made Vice-Chairman in the same year. He also rose to Vice-Chairman of the Football Association and has served on numerous UEFA and FIFA Committees.
David was an early proponent of women’s football having been President of the hugely successful Arsenal Ladies Team
He was the man who had the foresight to bring Arsene Wenger to Arsenal in 1996. During David’s reign, the Club won:
The League x 5
The FA Cup x 5
The UEFA Cup Winners Cup x 1
The League Cup x 2
The Community Shield x 5
A total of 18 trophies!
David was a prime mover when the Premier League was launched in 1992. As Greg Dyke, the former Chairman of the FA, told the Financial Times “David Dein was the most revolutionary bloke I’ve met in football. David Dein created the Premier League, it was his idea.”
The Daily Mail published a list of the 50 most influential people in the history of the Premier League and David was in the top ten with people like Sir Alex Ferguson.
These days David spends much of his time speaking in businesses, schools & prisons including students of the world renowned Harvard Business School in Boston.
In 2018 David created the “The Twinning Project” which links prisons to their local professional football team which has been a huge success in opening up opportunities to inmates which will reduce re-offending and save lives.
David was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours in recognition of his achievements.
CEO, Huddersfield Town 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 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.
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.
Chief Executive, Millwall Football Club
Steve Kavanagh, a chartered accountant, began his career in football at Charlton Athletic as a Finance Director during one of the most successful periods in their recent history as an established Premier League club.
He later rose to the position of Chief Executive at The Valley, the same role Kavanagh then took at Southend United in 2012.
Having overseen a period of sustained stability at Roots Hall, the 51-year-old departed for The Den in 2016 and has helped to establish Millwall as a Championship club throughout his tenure as Chief Executive so far.
Foundation Chief Executive, West Ham United Foundation
For over 15 years Joseph has provided successful leadership and applied core values of community engagement and equality to pioneer and create influential partnerships and projects.
Since joining the West Ham United Foundation in June 2013, he has delivered an innovative approach to inspire better futures for all, particularly focusing on health, education, careers, and breaking down social barriers for young people to achieve.
Joseph’s work across East London has been an example of his multi-layered approach to building meaningful collaborations in order to tackle local need, and he currently sits on the Board of the Foundation for Future London as well as One Newham (voluntary sector consortium). Through a part-time secondment position, Joseph has also recently become the Network Lead for the Second Curve; which aims to mobilise business leaders to improve the lives, and life chances, of those in the UK’s most stressed communities.
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.
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.
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.
Chair, Port Vale FC
Starting her working life at the tender age of 17 as a main-frame computer operator for Hoskyns Systems, Carol moved on to CMC, installing and supporting data prep and distributed data processing systems. It was here that she met future husband Kevin when she was teamed with him on the British Leyland account. She’s been juggling a career in the IT industry with family-life ever since.
Carol’s firmly-held belief that companies have an obligation to give equal importance to nurturing their relationships with customers and staff, as to generating profit, has been at the heart of Synectics Solutions’ ethos since its inception. This is a subject that she’ll speak passionately about with little prompting.
In May of 2019 Carol took the reins as Chair of Port Vale FC, following her family’s acquisition of the League Two club. Carol has been the driving force behind the Vale’s resurgence on and off the field and helped to build the club’s reputation with its supporters and nationally within the industry.
When the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown occurred in March 2020, football was suspended and Port Vale was no longer able to offer events or hospitality. At this point Carol oversaw the creation of the Port Vale Community Hub which brought together club staff, the Hubb Foundation, Synectics Solutions, Summit Hospitality, the Port Vale Foundation, volunteers and local businesses. To date it has delivered more than 170,000 meals to families in need across Stoke-on-Trent.
Carol is the co-Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area Board which brings together senior leaders from schools, communities, business, and central and local government. They bring their experience, insight and ambition to Stoke-on-Trent and its young people. She also sits as a critical friend on the Stoke-on-Trent Children’s Services Improvement Board.
In the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 Carol, aged 62, was awarded an OBE for services to the communities of Stoke-on-Trent.
CEO, Forest Green Rovers
Joining Forest Green Rovers in 2018 as the youngest CEO in English football, Henry has overseen a vast range of innovation projects and growth success in the last two years at the ‘world’s greenest football club’. Notable news during this time include investment from the likes of Hector Bellerin, tripling sponsorship revenue and almost quadrupling retail income.
Henry’s background before football was anything but traditional – leaving school at 16, hiring an office above a skip yard, before growing and selling two businesses. He also invests in property. He is a commercially-biased business leader, who operates an intrapreneurial culture, where staff are asked to take ownership and enjoy autonomy as part of their roles.
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.
Head of Development, 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.
CEO, Stevenage FC
One of the EFL’s youngest CEO took over at EFL League Two Stevenage FC in July 2018 having previously been at the helm of League Two’s Newport County AFC where he oversaw a significant transformation of the Club both on and off the field, following their dramatic final day survival at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Since arriving at Stevenage FC he has been responsible for several notable accomplishments including a Club Share Offering, the launch of the first Interactive Digital Match Day Programme and a global sponsorship campaign with Burger King which turned the Club into the most played team in the world on EA Sports FIFA 20.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, Leicester City Football Club