Tuesday, 19 March, 2024

Young Leaders Leadership Series 2024: The Business of Football

The Ireland Funds Great Britain Young Leaders Leadership Series: The Business of Football 2024


Young Leaders attended the latest session in our Leadership Series: The Business of Football on Tuesday 19th March.

Tom Kingsley, EY hosted an impressive panel with Susan Whelan, Chief Executive at Leicester City Football Club, Cliff Baty, Chief Financial Officer at Manchester United FC and David Courell, Chief Operating Officer at Football Association of Ireland.

The ever-changing landscape of football as a business was a strong theme of the evening and the panel explored topics such as brand affinity & loyalty, inspiring a nation, connecting communities and the future of women’s football. As the panel rightly stated, commercial success is not just about winning matches, it’s down to the whole eco-system of the club.

The panel shared their experiences from both a Club and Association perspective. An aim for a Football Association such as FAI was to inspire a nation and connect communities. Similarly, from a club perspective, it was stated that brand affinity and brand loyalty are essential to the success of the business of football.

The panel also discussed the rise and future of women’s football. Football clubs and associations cannot overstate the significance of women’s football as it cascades across the globe. From the FAI’s perspective, there is a good crop of women competing for Ireland and it is the fastest growing game in the country. However, there remains challenges with funding and the economics are not there yet, but clubs and associations are optimistic that with regular broadcasting to bring in sponsors and the continuation of investment, women’s football will continue to soar.

A special thank you to Fionuala Bonnar at icap, an organisation The Ireland Funds Great Britain is proud to support, for speaking to our Young Leaders about the amazing work they do.

Special thanks to Garrett Hayes and the team at McDermott Will & Emery for hosting us. Find out more about the Young Leaders Society and upcoming event and membership here.

Photography by Noel Mullen.


Joanna Young

Fundraising & Operations Executive

T - 078-4242-5876

E - jyoung@irelandfunds.org

Email me