Business Directory

Browse the Directory

Sign Up to the Directory

FC Business Twitter
FC business Linked in
FC Business facebook
FC Business Youtube

100 Most Influential People In Football: 20-1

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 20 to 1.


20. Ed Woodward


Manchester United

Responsible for the development of Manchester United’s commercial success across the globe. He would succeed David Gill following his departure from the club in 2013.


19. Tracy Crouch

MP - Minister for Sport

Conservative Party

Dismayed at the pace of change Tracey Crouch suggested that the UK Government may pass a law to force through reforms of The FA.


18. Xi Jinping



The football crazy President of China has laid out an ambitious 50 point plan to make the nation of over 1bn a world power in the game which is seeing huge investment in football in China and clubs around the world.


17. Karren Brady

Vice Chairman

West Ham United

Oversaw West Ham United’s successful bid and move to the Olympic Stadium.


16. Rupert Murdoch


News International

The original driving force behind football media.


15. Lord Mawhinney

Former Chairman

The Football League (2003-2010)

Responsible for the rebranding of the Football League to the Championship, League One & League Two. Also introduced the fit and proper persons test and the publication of club spending on agents’s fees.


14. Malcolm Glazer

Owner (2005-2014)

Manchester United

A divisive figure following his ‘leveraged’ buyout of Manchester United which saw the debt loaded on the club which they’re still paying today.


13. David Gill

Former CEO

Manchester United

Helped make Manchester United the commercial powerhouse it is today.


12. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge


ECA & FC Bayern Munich

Head of the European Club Association and Chairman of Bayern Munich, Rummenigge’s influence in football is vast.


10. Andy Burnham


Labour Party

His speech at the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield in 2009 set the wheels in motion that would ultimately see justice finally happen in April 2016 following a lengthy inquest.


9. Martin Glenn


The FA

Charged with helping to ‘shape and deliver’ The FA’s new strategic priorities.


8. Greg Clarke


The FA

The former EFL chairman now finds himself at the forefront of attempts to reform the organisation but faces a tough task following a vote of no confidence in The FA by MPs in February 2017.


7. Alexander Ceferin



The young and ambitious football administrator found himself at the helm of one of football’s most powerful confederations following Michel Platini’s unceremonious departure from the job.


6. Gianni Infantino



From UEFA to FIFA, Gianni Infantino’s rise to the top table of football’s powerhouse took everyone by surprise in 2016.


5. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan


Manchester City (City Group)

Transformed the fortunes of Manchester City when he took over in 2008 and has since took ownership of clubs in the US, Australia and Japan under the City Group umbrella.


4. Roman Abramovich


Chelsea FC

Brought unprecedented success to Chelsea FC through huge investment in the squad. Now set for a £500m revamp of Stamford Bridge.


3. Michel Platini

Former President


The would-be heir to Blatter’s throne, Platini’s legacy is Financial Fair Play and the commercial growth of UEFA’s competitions including the Champions League before his eventual downfall in 2015.


2. Sepp Blatter

Former President


Love him or loathe him, Sepp Blatter had great influence over world football before he was banned by the Ethics Committee he established.


1. Richard Scudamore

Executive Chairman

Premier League

He has led the league through a period of seemingly endless growth in riches, from broadcasters, brands and fans worldwide, a positive and lucrative trend which shows little sign of slowing down.


Have your say on social media using #fcbusiness100

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

To subscribe to our range of football newsletters including news, products and jobs CLICK HERE.

Add to: Google Google | Yahoo Yahoo | Live Live | del.icio.us del.icio | Digg Digg |

Related Articles

The Football Business Academy & streetfootballworld Join Forces

Tue 29th Aug 2017 | Football Governance

The Football Business Academy and streetfootballworld join forces to further promote the idea of football for good and ensure that the next generation of football leaders embraces Corporate Social...

London FA Overhauls Board To Reflect Capitalís Diverse Football Community

Fri 18th Aug 2017 | Football Governance

The London Football Association (LFA), the largest of the County Football Associations, is undertaking a transformational overhaul of its Board and inviting applicants from diverse backgrounds to...

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will not run for re-election as chairman of the European Club Association

Thu 10th Aug 2017 | Football Governance

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will not run for re-election as chairman of the European Club Association. The 61-year-old informed his colleagues on the ECA board of his decision during their meeting in Madrid...

FC Barcelona Appoint New Strategic Advisor In America

Thu 13th Jul 2017 | Football Governance

Former U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra signs agreement with the club to serve in the new role. FC Barcelona and James Costos, the former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, have signed...