Rick Parry & Malachy Brannigan Football Business Awards’ Big Winners

The winners of the 2022 Football Business Awards were announced on Friday (27th May) with Rick Parry receiving the Lifetime Contribution to the Business of Football award and Wigan Athletic’s Malachy Brannigan crowned CEO of the Year. 



Rick Parry is currently chairman of the EFL, the former chief executive of Liverpool, the original CEO of the Premier League and a board member at New York Cosmos. 


Parry was recognised for the important role he’s played in shaping the commercial impact of football and creating the spectacle that we know and love today in the UK. He’s made a truly significant and wide-reaching impact on the business of football. 


In the 10-year history of the Football Business awards, this honour has only been given out on three occasions. Previous recipients; Richard Scudamore CBE, Peter Kenyon and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. 


His 30-year career has put him at the heart of the decisions and strategy that have affected the shape and commercial impact of football. 


Football Business Awards co-founder, Simon Burton, said: “We are honoured to include Rick amongst the recipients of the Outstanding Contribution awards. He has been a key figure in the incredible development of football as a business and has played an important part in the wider sports industry.”  


When presented with his award, Parry, said: I don’t do looking backwards, as there’s too much to look forward to. I’ve worked with phenomenal people. I wasn’t sure about the EFL role for a long time, but saw the brilliant owners and people at all levels that exist in the football league, and took the role. Then the pandemic hit. But with thanks to these people we got through.  


“The model is changing and things need to change. You don’t need a parachute to fall off a step, things need to change.”


Afetr a phenomenal season which saw the club achieve promotion back the EFL Championship as League One champions, Wigan Athletic’s Malachy Brannigan was crowned overall CEO of the Year sponsored by General Sports Worldwide.


Award judge and fcbusiness Editor, Aaron Gourley, said: Malachy Brannigan has shown that through great leadership and a strong commitment to the club by the new board, anything is possible.


“Wigan have picked themselves up from a pretty disastrous few years to achieve promotion and now look forward to challenging in one of football’s most competitive leagues.”


Clubs from across the Premier League, EFL and SPFL joined sponsors, partners, community schemes and businesses to celebrate exceptional work in football across 23 categories at a lunchtime ceremony at The Brewery in London. 


Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Football Business Awards recognise and reward the off-pitch talents and endeavours that are an invaluable, part of the fabric of football and the communities clubs serve. 


Attended by over 415 leading football industry executives, the awards are considered the industry’s foremost accolade, attracting hundreds of entries every year from both the business units within football clubs and those professional services and businesses dedicated to supporting clubs and the game itself. 


Simon Burton, Co-founder of the Football Business Awards, concluded: Football is no ordinary business. It is at the heart of communities everywhere and we are honoured to celebrate these outstanding achievements and initiatives.” 


The winners are: 


Lifetime Contribution to the Business of Football: Rick Parry 

fcbusiness Overall CEO of the Year: Malachy Brannigan, Wigan Athletic FC 

CEO of the Year (Premier League): Phil Alexander, Crystal Palace FC 

CEO of the Year (Championship): Dane Murphy, Nottingham Forest FC 

CEO of the Year (League One): Malachy Brannigan, Wigan Athletic FC 

CEO of the Year (League Two): Colin Garlick, Port Vale FC 

CEO of the Year (SPFL): Andrew McKinlay, Heart of Midlothian 

Best Club Marketing: Bradford City AFC  

Best Brand Activation Involving Football: BT 

Innovation Award: Southampton Football Club 

Agency of the Year: Ten Toes  

Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme: Aston Villa 

Best Digital/Social Media Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 

Best Professional Service Business Serving Football: KSS Design Group 

Best New Player/Contract Signing Reveal Campaign: Manchester City FC 

Best Business Serving Football: Football Fun Factory  

Best Fan Engagement by a Club: Wigan Athletic FC 

Sustainability Award: Tottenham Hotspur FC and Sky 

Innovation Award – Non-club: Element 16 Media 

Diversity and Inclusion Award: Brighton & Hove Albion 

Best Use of Technology in Football: EE & Cake  

Sponsorship/Partnership of the Year: Qatar Airways & Fifty Digital  

Best Football Community Scheme: Swansea City FC 


To find the full list of winners, silver and bronze recipients and for more information, visit Football Business Awards

Image: Getty Images 





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