The Judges are all senior influential figures from Football and the wider business community. All share a passion for the game and an understanding of the importance of recognition for the many businesses which support it.
The Judges are all senior influential figures from Football and the wider business community. All share a passion for the game and an understanding of the importance of recognition for the many businesses which support it.
CEO Brighton & Hove Albion FC
Head of Partnerships, fcbusiness
CEO of Raptor Sports Properties
Chief Executive, League Managers Association
Chairman, Chelsea FC
CEO, Stream UK
Executive Chairman Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC
Prof. Tom Cannon
Professor of Strategic Development, University of Liverpool Management School
Chief Operating Officer, Benchmark Sport International
European Partnership Manager at Movember Foundation
Manager, Sports Business Development at Disney Sports Attractions
Chief Executive of the Scottish Premier League
Chief Executive Officer Everton FC
Chief Executive Hartlepool United FC
Head of Product Marketing EA SPORTS
Managing Director, ENS Ltd
Head of Sponsorship, Vauxhall
Global VP Strategic Planning, Marketing & Communications, Havas Sport & Entertainment
Sports Journalist, The Times
Managing Director, Jordan Sports Partnerships JSP
Director of Business Partnerships, Sport England
Kevin Keegan OBE
Former Player and Manager. Football Broadcaster
Senior Commercial Manager at Rugby Football League
CEO, Fulham FC
Managing Director, City AM
Chairman, Kick it Out
Chief Executive, Leeds City Council
David Sheepshanks CBE
Chairman of St George's Park
Stefan Szymanski, Ph.D.
Stephen J. Galetti Professor of Sport Management
Chief Executive Officer, Football Foundation
Head of Sport UK, Twitter
Senior Partner Brabners LLP
Duncan Burbidge is CEO of StreamAMG, the group that includes StreamUK. StreamAMG was founded in 2001 to provide advanced media services to corporations across Europe and has grown solely through cash-flow funding to employ over 100 people. Clients include the BBC, Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur, Google and the Guardian.
Duncan is a father to four and enjoys running and chess.
Robert Elstone was initially appointed as Deputy CEO of Everton in 2005, having forged a reputation as an expert in sports business. He arrived at Goodison from Deloitte, where he held the position as Director of the Sports Business Group, but his first foray into the sporting world came almost a decade earlier when, after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he was appointed as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League.
He impressed in that role and in 1997 working on the sport’s switch to summer, a World Cup and a new team in Paris before moving to Deloitte for his first spell with the high-profile Manchester-based sports consulting business. He made a name for himself as Deloitte’s first ever, full-time sports business consultant, acting as a successful advisor to leagues, clubs and sports related organisations on a range of strategic and commercial activities. His clients including Juventus, nike, Norwich City and The Greek Football League. He also played a major role in the formation of the Scottish Premier League.
In 2000, he moved to BSkyB as the Director of Football Business Affairs and worked closely with four leading Premier League clubs following Sky's acquisition of equity and commercial and media rights. Utilising the unique skill-set he developed during his time with Deloitte, Robert secured a series of key commercial agreements.
He returned to Deloitte in 2004 as a Director of the Sports Business Group that he had helped develop. A year later and he made the switch to Goodison Park as Deputy CEO.
In his time at Everton Robert has introduced a number of key strategic, organisational and structural initiatives that have led to improved financial performance, greater stability in the business and a strong, empowered Management team. Robert’s also helped drive substantial commercial progress in retail, sponsorship – the Club’s record Chang deal, and ticketing and is now leading the Club’s search for a new stadium.
He was appointed Acting CEO at Everton in August, 2008 and in January, 2009, the Club confirmed that Robert was to take up the position as permanent CEO.
Robert has represented Yorkshire Students at Rugby League, Yorkshire in Athletics and most recently Great Britain in Duathlon. He has also climbed a 21,000ft mountain in the Himalayas.
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.
Maurice Watkins CBE is Senior Partner and Head of Sport at Brabners LLP Manchester. He was a director of Manchester United Football Club for 28 years and currently holds a number of positions in Sport including Chairman of British Swimming, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, Barnsley Football Club and the Rugby League European Federation. Maurice is also a director of Lancashire County Cricket Club. He was voted 2014 International Sports and Entertainment Lawyer of the Year at the recent Who’s Who Legal Annual Awards in New York.
An incredibly passionate and renowned communicator, Kevin Keegan is one of the most recognisable faces in British football. An illustrious playing career included time at Liverpool, Hamburg, Southampton and Newcastle as well as the national side, captaining England for six years until his international retirement after the 1982 World Cup. As a manager he held the reins at Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester City and England.
A highly respected and credible broadcaster, Keegan was signed by ESPN in 2009 to be the Lead Analyst for their Premier League coverage in the UK. He also travelled to the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa to broadcast for ITV. He is currently working for Al
Jazeera TV in Qatar on Premiership and Champions League Games.
Born in Doncaster, Keegan began his football career in 1968 at Scunthorpe United, making his debut as a young seventeen year old. He moved from there to Liverpool in 1971 and went on to win three First Division titles, two UEFA Cups, an FA Cup and the European Cup during his six years at the club. From Liverpool Kevin joined Hamburger SV of Germany and secured further honours, winning the Bundesliga title and reaching the European Cup final.
Voted European Footballer of the Year in both 1978 and 1979, his return to UK football came at Southampton where he spent two seasons before joining Newcastle United of the Second Division, helping them gain promotion and finally retiring as a player in 1984. He was capped 63 times for England scoring 21 international goals.
After a break from the game, Kevin embarked on his managerial career, first in 1992 at Newcastle where he returned the club to the top-flight and narrowly missing out on the Premiership title, finishing second in the 1995-1996 season. He was appointed by Fulham from the Magpies in 1997 and led them to promotion before accepting the England Manager’s job in 1999. Joining Manchester City in May 2001, he led the team to promotion that season as First Division Champions, becoming the first manager in the Premier League era to win the Football League title with two different clubs. Qualification for the UEFA Cup followed before Kevin stepped down in 2005. After a brief return to management with Newcastle he now devotes his time to his new business SOKKA and media work.
Gary started in his career in fmcg marketing and spent 13 years at The Football League in various commercial position before joining The Rugby Football League in the summer of 2012. In his time in football, Gary both managed sponsors and also was involved in sponsorship acquisition, including the npower and Capital One sponsorships. He was also part of the successful re-branding of The Football League in 2005.
In Rugby League, Gary has worked across both national and global properties which have included the acquisition of Tetley’s Bitter to return to the sport for the Challenge Cup and the delivery of a successful Rugby League World Cup in the autumn of 2013.
Gary is a Manchester City and a Leeds Rhinos fan.
Paul enjoyed a 30-year career with the RAF before he decided on a career change, joining the Football Foundation in 2006. During his time with the Armed Services he saw active service in support of operations in the Falkland Islands, Afghanistan and both Gulf Wars, mostly in the operational logistics role. Paul was also actively involved in football administration throughout his career, rising to be Chairman of the RAF Football Association, a county FA on the FA Council. Paul’s professional background is in operational logistics and organisational change management. He has an MA from Kings College London and a post graduate diploma in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick. The Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK, receiving funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, and is responsible for delivering a transformation in grassroots community sports facilities across the country.
Tanya joined Sport England in January 2012 as Director of Business Partnerships, responsible for corporate affairs and commercial relationships.
She has spent her entire professional life in communications, starting her career as a journalist before becoming a press secretary initially to the Lord Chancellor and then the Prime Minister, a role she held for over four years.
In 2003 she left the Civil Service to join the world of consultancy including senior roles at international agency Grayling and at the head of her own consultancy, Tanya Joseph Consulting. Over the years she provided strategic counsel and practical advice to a wide range of clients including Tesco, Mars, Heinz, the Nuffield Trust, the Royal Mint, De Beers and Sir Robert McAlpine.
Tanya is a Fellow of the RSA and a Trustee of the Fawcett Society which campaigns for equality between women and men in the UK on pay, pensions, poverty, justice and politics. She is also a Trustee of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust, a charity that creates opportunities for people in Southern African to develop their full potential through education and the assertion of human rights. She is a member of the PR Council of the PRCA and chairs the PRCA Diversity Network.
David Sheepshanks is best known for his extensive career in Football, serving The FA, The Football League and Ipswich Town over the last 25 years. Today he is Chairman of St George’s Park (previously known as The FA’s National Football Centre) as well as Chairman of FA Learning Ltd (the educational subsidiary). He is a previous Chairman of the Football League (2 years), was a long serving member of FA Board (12 years) and FL Board (12 years) and former Chairman of Ipswich Town Football Club (14 years). David was elected to the Ipswich Town Board in 1987 and served as Chairman from 1995-2009, leading the sale of the Club to Marcus Evans in December 2007.
His business background was in the food industry including Starfish Ltd and Suffolk Foods Ltd, both of which he started and later sold, and local radio (he was a Director of Radio Orwell/SGR and Chairman of Vibe FM). His current business interests include being a Regional Chairman of Coutts Bank, Non-Exec Chairman of Environmental Biotech and other Directorships/Consultancies including Moshen Ltd (a new digital technology/mobile APP company) and Onside Law.
David is active within the community in East Anglia, being given an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East Anglia in 2004 for services to the community and becoming a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk in 2005. He founded the Ipswich Town Charitable Trust in 1998 and is also a founding Trustee and Chairman of the Suffolk Foundation (since 2005), now a major umbrella charity for the county.
The youngest ever Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, Tom has helped set an ambitious goal for Leeds to become the Best City in the UK by 2030. Together with the Leader of the Council, and working across all political groups, Tom has been influential in ensuring the significant progress and investment in Leeds, which has a £5.9 billion of pipeline developments planned including 70,000 new homes, a new Trolleybus system, city centre flood defences, an extension of the city centre onto the South Bank and an HS2 station. Both the First Direct Arena and Trinity shopping centre - the largest of their kind to be built in Europe in 2013 - were completed ahead of schedule and have already had 18 million visitors. Tom helped secure the Tour de France Grand Départ for Yorkshire and it will start from Leeds in July 2014.
Tom has come full circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford University, a Civil Service fast stream career on international environmental policy to leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward.
Ever forward-looking, Tom is on the Centre for Cities Board of trustees and is a member of the UK government’s Smart Cities Forum and drove the Commission that set out in 2013 a new “civic enterprise blueprint” for the Future of Local Government.
Herman Ouseley is a self-employed independent management consultant, specializing in organizational change, equality programmes and people management. His working life has been predominantly in the public services sector, apart from a five-year stint of being Chairman and Chief Executive of the Different Realities Partnership.
He was previously the Executive Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (1993-2000). Before that he was a local government officer for some 30 years, serving as Chief Executive of the London Borough of Lambeth, as well as the former Inner London Education Authority, where he was also previously a Director of Education. He held a wide variety of different positions in other authorities during that period.
Herman Ouseley has undertaken organizational reviews and conducted commissioned inquiries into serious performance failures by public bodies. He is also actively involved with several charitable and voluntary organisations, such as being a Council member of the Institute of Race Relations, Trustee of The Manchester United Foundation and holds the role of Patron for several other Charities. Having previously chaired several voluntary organizations and social enterprises, including a Housing Association, he is currently the Chair of two such organizations:-
PRESET Education and Training Trust
KICK IT OUT (National campaign to achieve equality and inclusion in football)
Herman Ouseley is a former Non- Executive Director of Focus Consultancy Ltd and former independent Adviser to the HM Revenue and Customs on its equality and diversity development activities. He was also a member of the HMIC’s Advisers Group to the Chief Inspector of Constabularies. He is a former Council member of the Football Association, chairing one of its Advisory Groups (2008-2013). He chairs the External Implementation Group of the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Herman has been awarded 13 honorary degrees from Universities across the UK in recognition of his achievements and contribution to education, public policy studies, local government services, equality legislation, compliance and enforcement, and community-led social action. He was knighted in 1997 for services to local government and community relations in Great Britain. He was appointed to the House of Lords in July 2001 and sits on the cross-benches as an independent peer.
He is a former President of the Local Government Association (2002-2005) and is currently a Vice-President.
(Lord Ouseley Kt, Chartered FCI PD)
In September 2005, Lawson launched
together with CEO Jens Torpe a newspaper aimed exclusively at London's
business and financial areas.
City A.M. now has a circulation of more than 100,000 and is the first newspaper to serve exclusively London’s affluent financial village. The newspaper is a one-stop-shop for all the latest business news, markets information and analysis of the financial world. It is distributed free in the Square Mile, Canary Wharf and other key business districts every week day morning.
Lawson started his career at Scottish TV in 1988 before moving to London to work for Eurosport where he was promoted to sales director across the UK in 1996. In 1997 Lawson became sales director with outdoor contractor Mills and Allen but by 1999 was lured back to television as sales director for CNN covering the UK, Scandinavia and Holland. During the tenure he oversaw the integration of the interactive and broadcast sales divisions, and was made Vice President in early 2000.That year, Lawson moved away from television for the second time, moving to Metro International as Vice President, Global Sales until 2004.
Lawson lives in North Berwick with his wife Zoë and four children, Ben, Ruby Rose, Oliver and Zac with another base in London during the week. His passions are the family, CITY A.M., golf and Celtic 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.
Dominic has a decade of experience as a stakeholder within professional football. Previously being the hands on Operations Director, Managing Director & then Vice Chairman at Crystal Palace Football Club from 2000-2010. Prior to his role at CPFC he was Operations Director at the Pocket Phone Shop managing the successful growth of the telecoms business, which was successfully sold to T-Mobile in the summer of 2000. Dominic founded JSP in 2010 to provide turnkey best in class solutions for organisations within professional sports, across the key areas of their business to increase their profits, reduce their cost and enhance their customer experiences.
Gary Jacob has fulfilled every boy’s dream as sports journalist at The Times for more than a decade. He is respected and trusted for his breadth of knowledge and understanding in football, specialising in the murky world of transfers and the business of the sport. He has worked for the news and technology sections, having joined the paper after completing a doctorate in modelling heart function.
Originally from Boston, MA, life after my studies at the University of California Berkeley led to an eight-year stint in Paris, starting with the International Herald Tribune and Associated Press.
Having failed to uncover the next Watergate scandal, I shifted gears and joined Disney Consumer Products, EMEA where I was Communications Manager. Amongst many tasks one of them was to guinea pig the new rides at Disneyland Paris...so if you've ridden Dumbo safely, you've got me to thank.
A long foray into sports marketing and sponsorship followed, starting with the National Hockey League International, the World League of American Football and finally API Consulting before it became Octagon. Back then this kind of currency definitely gave me "uber cool chick" status when on a date. The good old days...
Fast-forward with a stint in advertising as Group Account Director, EMEA at OgilvyOne, followed by a quick retreat back to my sponsorship roots as Associate Director, via supremo sponsorship consultancy, Redmandarin.
Another twist in the career path and off I went to join Butlins as the Director of Brand Experience. I may be the only American to have slept at all three resorts (Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis...just trips off the tongue, doesn't it?).
Agency life harkened again and this time I settled in at Momentum as VP International, before literally crossing the street to begin my new life as Managing Director of Cunning, (an independent brand experience agency) and most recently as Global VP, Strategic Planning, Marketing & Communications, for Havas Sports & Entertainment.
I have worked on a diverse group of brands throughout my career including American Express, Atos, Bacardi, Carlsberg, Coke, Esprit, Eurostar, Gillette, HSBC Premier, ITV, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, MINI, Nestle, Novartis, Orange, Powerade, VISA, and Yahoo! amongst others, and have had the privilege of working on large- scale, international sponsorship programs, brand experiences and integrated marketing programs from World Cup 98 to American Express' sponsorship of the Rolling Stones Bigger Bang Tour, to Wimbledon, to Milan Fashion Week to London 2012 sponsor programs and everything in between.
I have a great appreciation for Grey Goose and cranberry (or champagne when no vodka is around), travelling, good food and wine, The Princess Bride, great books and giggling with my gorgeous daughter Ella (15) and my adorable son Noah (8) who currently thinks he is the ultimate super hero (minus the tights). Oh yes, I have an unnatural fear of clowns.
It's been a great ride so far.
Chris is responsible for managing Vauxhall’s partnerships with the 4 Home Nations Football Associations.
Having spent 15 years working in sport in various guises, he led the Sports and Live Sponsorship team at Carat Sponsorship that negotiated the Home Nations agreements and developed the core activation strategy for Vauxhall, before moving brand side to manage the on-going relationship.
Chris has experience of working on all sides of the sport industry, having started his career with Umbro before experiencing the rights owner challenge at the RFU, and a colourful agency life with clients across the globe. His passion for all sport is exemplified by his unstinting support of Leicester City and tireless efforts on the golf course.
Rebecca Hopkins is Managing Director of ENS Ltd, an award-winning, independent sport PR agency.
Her career started at News International, Rebecca then worked for AMV, BBC Magazines and The Telegraph Group before joining BT’s sports sponsorship team.
Having worked on projects including the Olympics, the Rugby World Cup, Wimbledon and the British Open, Rebecca became a partner in Benchmark Sport where she devised and delivered the first Sport Industry Awards.
Rebecca launched ENS on the success of the awards in 2002, since which the agency has gone on to work for clients which have included the LTA, Granada Media, the Turkish Basketball Federation, EDF Energy, Craig Bellamy and Microsoft.
In addition to her work at ENS, Rebecca is Chair of the PRCA’s Sports Group, sits on several sports and marketing awards judging panels and is a guest lecturer for the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
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.
Neil believes passionately that football clubs should be at the heart of the community as consultative, accessible and family organisations.
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 including the possibility of:
- A merger of the two Scottish leagues,
- The introduction of play-offs between the top two divisions, and
- A ‘pyramid’ structure for Scottish football.
The Scottish Premier League have recently announced new, five-year deals with Sky Sports and ESPN with these deals being on substantially improved terms. Neil reports himself delighted with the deals.
There are still challenges ahead. The Clydesdale Bank have, after six years in that role, decided to stand down as title sponsor in 2013, but Neil remains upbeat about the future of Scottish football.
Patrick is a member of the opening team at Wide World of Sports and currently in his 17th year here at Disney. Originally from England, Patrick has an extensive background in the sport of soccer and is proud to have created the soccer line of business here at Disney Sports. Disney Soccer is currently considered the top revenue generator driving millions of dollars in direct and strategic value to the company and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Disney Soccer Showcase Series is now recognized as the top recruiting tournament series in the country with over 10,000 athletes competing and over 1,000 college coaches in attendance each year. In 2012 a 6 year deal with AS ROMA was finalized and ROMA’s training camp in December 2012 was a big success.
Currently Patrick’s team is working on two new properties to add to the Disney Created Soccer Portfolio including the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in conjunction with Major League Soccer and Disney Soccer Academy which offers a unique camp experience for youth players all over the world who want to interact with Premier League players and enjoy the Walt Disney World Resort. Patrick started at Disney Sports in Event Management and moved into Sports Programming with a concentration on Soccer and Field Sports. Patrick later moved into sales and was promoted to Area Manager where he managed the Sports Fields Sales and Operations team before being promoted to Manager, Sports Business Development.
Patrick’s father, Alan Dicks, was a former player with Chelsea Football Club and was a member of the 1954-55 Championship team before going onto Manage Bristol City for 13 years.
Tom is Professor of Strategic Development at the University of Liverpool Management School. Tom's career is unusual in embracing the public and private sectors, academe and new ventures. He holds Visiting Professorships in Britain, the USA and Asia and non-executive Directorships in several UK companies. Earlier he was Director of Manchester Business School (MBS).
On leaving Manchester, Tom was Chief Executive of the Management Charter Initiative and subsequently the Management and Enterprise National Training Organisation. He was the Mercer's School Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, a prestigious position in the City of London dating back 400 years.
He has held academic appointments in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Tom has strong links with policy makers in the EC, UK, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Russia, China, India and Pakistan. Tom has worked with the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the US Department of Commerce, the governments of Dubai, New Zealand and India besides the Cities/Regions of Helsinki, Nantong, Hong Kong, Minneapolis/St Paul, Melbourne, Auckland, Barcelona, Valencia, Berlin, Wallonia, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Sunderland.
He chaired the New Vision for Business study initiated by the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, the then Prime Minister. He has worked with blue chip firms such as American Express, Microsoft, Airbus, Tesco, BT, NatWest Bank, Body Shop, Wessex Water, BP, General Electric, Virgin, IBM, Trinity Mirror Newspapers, Shell, ICI, Body Shop, Dow Chemicals, Ambrosetti Group, HSBC, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs and Burston-Marseller in Britain, Europe and the USA.
He has developed expertise in benchmarking Cities against the Ideopolis indicators and measuring the economic impact of events such as the Olympics, The America's Cup, physical assets such as Science Parks and growth industries from BioTech to Sport. Tom pioneered work on the Third Generation of Science and Technology Parks.
Bruce M. Buck has been Chairman of Chelsea Football Club since Roman Abramovich purchased the club in July 2003. He is active in FA Premier League activities, being Chairman of the League's Audit and Remuneration Committee as well as a member of its Legal Advisory Group.
Mr. Buck is also the partner in charge of the European offices of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, a well known international law firm with 2,000 lawyers based in offices around the globe. Mr Buck's legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, as well as capital markets transactions. He was recently named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in Britain by The Times newspaper.
Mr. Buck is a long time Chelsea fan, having been a season ticket older since approximately 1990.
Richard was appointed to the post of Chief Executive in January 2008, following John Barnwell who had done much to raise the profile of the LMA in the last 12 years.
Richard is a prominent character in the world of sport and business. He joined the Professional Cricketers’ Association in 1996 & became Chief Executive in 2001 up to the end of 2007, leading them from a turnover of £47000 to a significant business organisation turning over in excess of £5m. He is also a Trustee of the Team England Player Partnership, Treasurer and a Director of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, a Director of the Professional Players’ Federation (the umbrella body for all players’ associations including the PFA, PGA, PRA, PCA and Jockeys’ Association).
Richard grew up in Shropshire and lives in Manchester with his wife Suzanne, a barrister. He held an International Rally Driving License for six years and competed in three RAC Rallies. He played football and cricket to a high amateur standard and plays golf off a four handicap. Richard played football for 12 years for the Liverpool & Shropshire Ramblers & was football coach at Concord College Shropshire from 1984 – 1987. His abiding interest is business of sport!
Jeff has enjoyed a successful career building and accelerating the growth of companies as an entrepreneur, operating executive and advisor.
As a lover of sports and business, Jeff is combining these areas of interest with his work as Co-Founder and CEO of Raptor Sports Properties, LLC. Raptor Sports Properties has established a world class team and global platform to accelerate the commercial growth of sports and entertainment properties around the globe.
Prior to co-founding Raptor Sports Properties, Jeff was CEO of mobile and social commerce company Swap.com, President and COO of commerce and niche media network NameMedia, and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Lycos. Jeff earned the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award in New England for his visionary work at NameMedia.
Jeff has also served as an advisor to many ventures to assist them with business acceleration and expansion.
Jeff earned his B.S. Degree, cum laude, from Bentley University.
Yal Bekar is Head of Partnerships at fcbusiness, the business magazine for the football Industry.
After graduating from The Stirling School of Management, where he achieved a BA (Hons) in Marketing and Psychology, he started his media career by helping to launch the UK’s first national women’s football magazine, OnTheBall.
During his tenure as Sales and Marketing Director he helped to make OntheBall an official Football Association publication and went on to create successful partnerships with The Times, Radio 5 Live, Sky Sports, Nike, Adidas and Snickers
After the successful sale of OnTheBall to Non-League Media plc, Yal became Group Commercial Manager across NLM’s stable of newspapers, magazine and websites.
Yal lives in Kent with his wife Sarah and Violet (3) and Oscar (1). Pastimes these days include feeding babies, chasing toddlers and watching lots of Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly.
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.
Earlier in his career, Paul was The Football Association's first Director of Marketing with responsibility for The FA's commercial programme and marketing. Later, Paul took on additional responsibility for The FA's media and communications department.
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.