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100 Most Influential People In Football: 40-21

Fri 31st Mar 2017 | Football Governance

To celebrate 100 issues of fcbusiness magazine, we’ve compiled a list of the 100 most influential people in the business of football since 2004.

fcbusiness launched in September 2004, and since then a lot has changed in football for better and worse. The game today is very different from what it was then, with new stadium technology, increased business and operational awareness and advances in player performance to changes in football governance and financial management.

But who have been the people behind these developments? We count down from 40 to 21.


40. Javier Tebas



Tebas is overseeing ambitious changes as the Spanish league looks to capitalise on the success of its member clubs in European competition and the national team on the world stage.


39. Johan Cruyff

Former Footballer/Manager


Admired and inspiring to all around him, Cruyff continued to influence the game right up until his death in 2016.


38. Gordon Taylor

PFA Chief Executive

Professional Footballers’ Association

As head of the PFA, Taylor is a spokesperson and responsible for the welfare of its members. Has faced occasional criticism for his high salary and his public defence of players even for serious indiscretions.


37. Sir Bobby Robson

Former Manager

England & various

Another of English football’s great managers, his death from cancer in 2009 was a sad loss but his legacy in football and through his foundation lives on.


36. Sir Alex Ferguson

Former Manager

Manchester United

Considered the greatest manager of a generation and continued to deliver on-field success at United until his retirement in 2013.


35. Pep Guardiola


Manchester City

Former player, turned manager, who took Barcelona to a whole new level in 2009. His high tempo pressing game marked a paradigm shift in football and was the catalyst for Spain’s Euro and World Cup successes.


34. Paul Thorogood


Football Foundation

After 30 years in the RAF, Thorogood joined the Football Foundation in 2006 responsible for making it one of the most ‘effective and efficient organisation of its kind’ according to the DCMS.


33. Mark Clattenburg

Match Official


Considered one of the best referees around Clattenburg is set to take up a role in Saudi Arabia as Head of Refereeing in the Gulf State.


32. Greg Dyke

Former Chairman

The FA

Paved the way for reforms and the appointment of Martin Glenn as CEO.


31. Paul Molnar

Director of Broadcasting

The Premier League

Molnar is responsible for the international media rights sale process which was worth over £3bn in the last round of negotiations.


30. David Conn


The Guardian

One of the UK’s most highly respected sports journalists. His determined reporting (amongst others) and compassion for the families, helped finally uncover the truth and bring justice for victims of the Hillsborough Disaster.


29. Daniel Levy


Tottenham Hotspur

One of the longest serving chairman in the Premier League, Tottenham, under Levy’s stewardship are set to open their new state-of-the-art stadium in 2018.


28. Ivan Gazidis



Appointed in January 2009, the former MLS deputy-commissioner has been responsible for maintaining Arsenal’s business and playing ambitions.


27. Jonathan Barnett


Responsible for Gareth Bale’s record transfer to Real Madrid and representative to over 100 top footballers.


26. Tiago Craveiro


Portuguese Football Federation

Leading the strategic direction of Portuguese football which has seen their men’s team lift the European Championship title in 2016 and their women’s team reach the finals of the Euros in 2017.


25. Mino Raiola


The ‘super agent’ to Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


24. Brian Lomax


Supporters Direct

Founder of Supporters Direct which has been instrumental in giving support to trusts aiding clubs in need.


23. Jorge Mendes


The Portuguese is one of football’s most powerful agents with a client list that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa and Jose Mourinho.

22. David Dein

Former Chairman

Arsenal & The FA

Highly influential in taking Arsenal from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium.


21. Gavin Patterson



The mastermind behind BT’s journey into the world of Premier League football and its bumper TV rights deal.


Have your say on social media using #fcbusiness100

Top 100 people 20 to 1

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

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