The Football Business Awards celebrate the very best of football off the field.

The finalists for the fcbusiness CEO of the Year Award sponsored by tappit have been announced. 


The finalists for this year’s awards are: David Baldwin (Burnley FC), Alistair Mackintosh (Fulham FC), Erik Samuelson (AFC Wimbledon), Andy Holt (Accrington Stanley) and Ann Budge (Heart of Midlothian)


The CEO from each league has been nominated by a panel at fcbusiness for their leadership throughout the 2017/18 season and is now shortlisted for the overall CEO of the Year prize. Each winner will receive their award at a glitzy ceremony on 22nd November at City Centre at the HAC in London before the overall winner is announced on the night.


Football Business Awards organiser, Simon Burton, said: “Leadership is a vital component in stable football business. The shortlisted CEO’s don’t just embody strong commerce acumen, but a clear sense that football clubs are at the heart of the communities they serve. Those nominated are exceptional individuals who have received the acclaim of their peers. 


Recognising the valuable contribution of the game’s executives in the UK has seen fcbusiness present the CEO of the Year Award each year since 2012, with winners including the likes of; Daniel Levy (Tottenham Hotspur) Ivan Gazidiz (Arsenal), Karren Brady (West Ham United), Mark Catlin, (Portsmouth) and Tony Scholes (Stoke City) to name a few.


fcbusiness Editor and Football Business Awards judge, Aaron Gourley, said: “Choosing the nominees for this award gets more difficult each year as clubs continue to grow and develop at an exceptional rate and the standards set in previous years are matched by those chosen for this year’s awards.


“The CEO of the Year is one of the most prized in football and through their hard work and dedication each of the nominees has led their respective clubs to achieve outstanding performances both on and off the pitch.


“The Football Business Awards are a fantastic way of recognising the efforts of everyone involved in the business side of the beautiful game and I’m sure, as each of our CEO’s would testify, they would not be in line for an award without them.”


Jason Thomas, CEO of tappit, this year’s award sponsor, commented: “We’re proud to support the Football Business Awards this year by sponsoring the coveted CEO of the Year award. As a team of passionate football fans ourselves, we are committed to working with clubs who are passionate about gaining fan insight, increasing profits and ultimately improving the fan experience. We look forward to honouring those recognised as the most impressive leaders in football.”


 Over 500 senior managers and decision makers from the football industry will attend the black tie event in the heart of London, making the awards the perfect networking opportunity in the football calendar. 


Table sales are open for those interested in attending the event. For more information on individual places or group bookings, please visit


CEO of the Year Finalists:

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


fcbusiness CEO of the Year Award (Overall) – To Be Announced on the Night


To see the full awards shortlist, please visit:


Picture: CEO of the Year winners from Football Business Awards 2017. (L to R) Neil Rowe (fcbusiness), Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen FC), Andrew Mullen on behalf of Steve Bettis (Sheffield United), John Kay (Preston North End), Donna Marie-Cullen on behalf of Daniel Levy (Tottenham Hotspur), Gary Sweet (Luton Town) and host Mark Chapman. 


About tappit

tappit enhances live experiences, providing technology and insights to make events better and more profitable.

 tappit is passionate about improving the experiences of attendees at sports, festivals and entertainment venues; a passion born of the fact that we are a team of sports fans, music enthusiasts and event lovers.

The tappit platform has cashless payments at its core and also offers access control, registration, detailed reporting and easy integration with existing systems. We reduce queues, maximise profit, eliminate fraud and provide event organisers with valuable data and insights.

Events and venues around the world provide the best cashless experience using tappit, including: Manchester City Football Club, Birmingham City Football Club, Bestival, Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s, Creamfields, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the World Surf League.

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About the CEO of the Year Award

The nominees for CEO of the Year are chosen on the following basis:

**Nominees have been in the role for the full season and are still at the club this season.

**If there is no official CEO role then the person who fulfils those duties will be accepted (Managing Director or Chairman for example)

**Business success – has the club ran a successful business operation (increased turnover, managed budgets, made a profit, ran within FFP controls, etc)

**On-pitch success – has the team been successful on the field (this can be defied expectations, won promotion etc)

**Leadership – has this person show outstanding leadership across the club?

**Club stability – the club has had no major issues throughout the year or anything has been dealt with in a reasonable and highly efficient manner.