Accrington Stanley's Andy Holt was the big winner at this year's Football Business Awards capping a memorable year for the Lancashire club.

Andy Holt, who took over the club in 2015, was awarded the prestigious fcbusiness CEO of the Year award sponsored by Tappit at a glittering ceremony held in the heart of London last night.


He saw of competition from David Baldwin (Burnley), Alistair Mackintosh (Fulham), Erik Samuelson (AFC Wimbledon) and Ann Budge (Heart of Midlothian) to claim the overall prize on the night.


The Football Business Awards also saw former Arsenal defender, Tony Adams reward for his for his dedication to helping players facing addiction and mental health problems, with the Global Ambassador to Football award.


Other winners on the night were Sunderland AFC (Best Marketing Initiative, non-Premier League) for their Big Seat Change event.


Manchester United’s StayUnited campaign won Best Marketing Initiative (Premier League) whilst Liverpool FC won the award for Best Football Hospitality.


Now in its 7th year, the Football Business Awards recognise both the business units within football clubs responsible for commercial success and off-pitch activity, alongside those professional services and businesses dedicated to supporting clubs and the game itself.


Judged by a panel of 23 distinguished football executives, the winners were announced at a black tie awards ceremony at City Central at the HAC and decided from a shortlist featuring almost 40 clubs from all levels of the game.


Attended by 450 leading executives involved in the football business, the awards are considered the industry’s foremost accolade, attracting hundreds of entries every year across the 16 categories.


Simon Burton, Co-founder of the Football Business Awards, said: “The calibre of this year’s finalists definitely put our judging panel through their paces, with so many outstanding examples of innovation and commitment to the commercial success of our many football clubs and businesses. We congratulate all of the winners of tonight’s 2018 Football Business Awards and can’t wait to see what next year brings.”


The winners are:

CEO of the Year (Overall): Andy Holt, Accrington Stanley FC
Best Club Marketing Initiative – Premier League: Manchester United FC STAYUNITED
Best Club Marketing Initiative – Non-Premier League: Sunderland FC Big seat Change Event
Best Football Club Hospitality: Liverpool FC
Best use of Technology (non-Club specific): Catapult Sports
Best Large Business Serving Football: STATSports Group
Best Small Business Serving Football: Goodform
Best Football Community Scheme non-Premier League: Kew Park Rangers
Best Football Community Scheme Premier League: Everton in the Community
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme: Everton in the Community
Innovation Award: Manchester City FC
Agency of the Year: WePlay
Best Fan Engagement by a Club: Leicester City FC & DJS Research
Sponsorship Deal / Partnership of the Year: Norwich City FC & Aviva
Best Brand Activation Involving Football: NISSAN & UEFA Champions League (Goal Studios)
Best Brand Activation Involving a Club: FC Barcelona and Beko
Premier League CEO of the Year: David Baldwin, Burnley FC
Championship CEO of the Year: Alistair Mackintosh, Fulham FC
League One CEO of the Year: Erik Samuelson, AFC Wimbledon
League Two CEO of the Year: Andy Holt, Accrington Stanley FC
SPFL CEO of the Year: Ann Budge, Heart of Midlothian FC

This year, the prestigious Global Football Ambassador accolade was presented to Tony Adams MBE. Previous winners of the award include John Motson OBE, (2017), Sir Bobby Charlton (2014), Sir Trevor Brooking (2015) and Jimmy Armfield CBE (2016).


To find the full list of winners, silver and bronze recipients and for more information, visit www.footballbusinessawards,com