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Daniel Parnell
CEO and Managing Director

Daniel Parnell
CEO and Managing Director

Dan is the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Sporting Directors and is an Associate Professor in Sport Business at the Centre of Sport Business within the University of Liverpool Management School. Dan has extensive experience developing, leading and delivering executive education, alongside providing mentorship and research supervision for senior leaders in football. This includes educational roles with the English Premier League (EPL), FIFA, Football Association of Wales (FAW) and League Managers Association. He has consulted on facilitating positive organisational change, performance management, research and development, and the recruitment of senior staff in elite football. Dan is currently Head of Football Research at Dundee United Football Club, in addition to sitting on the FAW Talent ID and Development Advisory Group, and the review Board for the Elite Academy Managers Programme for the EPL.

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Mike Rigg
Director of Football

Mike Rigg
Director of Football

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Alistair Milner
Managing Director

Alistair Milner
Managing Director

Alistair is a Partner with the international search firm SRI. He has spent 10 years working with Ownership Groups, Professional Football Clubs, National Associations and Olympic sports on a range of technical and leadership appointments.

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Joel Roberts
Managing Director

Joel Roberts
Managing Director

Joel is a UEFA A licensed coach, FA qualified Academy Manager and experienced Educator, with a Masters in Sport Directorship, he possesses a range of executive skills gained through various senior roles in football and education.

He is a Director of a football and educational consultancy specialising in football related academic programmes and delivery, leadership initiatives and strategic development to positively impact upon a variety of organisations and institutions.

Joel is also an experienced football practitioner as a FA Premier League and National Team Senior Scout, with elite coaching experiences as a Premier League Academy Head Coach and with England Women U23’s.

Management Committee

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Iffy Onoura
Management Committee

Iffy Onoura
Management Committee

Iffy Onuora is currently the Head of Race Equality and Inclusion at the Premier League, having joined
in April 2021. This ground-breaking role comes with the huge responsibility of coordinating EDI
policies and programmes as well as embedding best practice across Premier League clubs.

Before joining the PL, he spent 9 years at the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) as a Regional Coach Educator and Equalities officer. He is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and his coaching career saw him manage both professional football clubs and national teams, including – Swindon Town
(2005–2006), the Ethiopia national team (2010–2011) and was part of the Coaching staff for the
England Under-21s (2018). He’s also a Match Delegate for referees in the Premier League.

Over a 15-year playing career, the forward played for Huddersfield Town, Mansfield Town,
Gillingham, Swindon Town, Sheffield United, Grimsby, Wycombe Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers where he cumulatively made over 450 appearances before moving into coaching and management.

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Paul Musa
Management Committee

Paul Musa
Management Committee

Paul is the Host and Founder of the What The Footie Podcast, the football business podcast that goes behind the scenes in football. From the backroom staff to the board of directors, Paul speaks with the biggest agents, directors, deal-makers and decision-makers in the game. Outside of hosting his podcast, Paul is a Trainee Solicitor. He previously completed a 6-month secondment in the legal team at adidas where he worked on high-profile player, club and sponsorship agreements. He is also a Guest Lecturer at Solent University where he delivers sessions and online seminars to the Football Business and Sports Management students.

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Professor Barry Drust
Management Committee

Professor Barry Drust
Management Committee

Barry is an Industrial Professorial Fellow at The University of Birmingham.  He is an experienced academic specialising in the area of sports performance. 

Barry has a particular interest in the development, preparation and performance of elite footballers. Published over 150 peer reviewed research articles and is invited regularly to speak at national and international conferences. Barry is also interested in the development of individuals working with scientists and industry practitioners to develop skills associated with problem solving and critical thinking. 

He has successfully supervised around 40 doctorates using both traditional science-based models and more contemporary applied practice based strategies. Over a period of 20 years, Barry has also been involved in providing scientific support and expert consultancy services to elite football organisations.  These include roles within teams within the English Premier League, Scottish Premiership and national football associations.

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Colm Hand
Head of Communications and Development

Colm Hand
Head of Communications and Development

Colm is currently completing the Football Industries MBA at the University of Liverpool and currently works with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) on a freelance basis supporting their communications team. Prior to returning to education, Colm worked in operations, projects and communications with the FAI, CBF Dubai and Anthony Travel in the USA.
Colm has also completed the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) and the FA Talent ID Level 1 and Level 2.

Technical Committee

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Ross Wilson
Technical Committee

Ross Wilson
Technical Committee

Ross currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He has previously held Sporting Director roles at Watford, Huddersfield Town and Southampton.

Ross is currently Sporting Director and Board Member at Scottish Giants Glasgow Rangers FC.

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Nick Hammond
Technical Committee

Nick Hammond
Technical Committee

Nick sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

Nick is an experienced Sporting Director and football consultant who is currently working with Celtic FC in the Scottish Premiership at Head of Football Operations.

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Rebecca Caplehorn
Technical Committee

Rebecca Caplehorn
Technical Committee

Rebecca sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

Having spent numerous years working in Tennis, and football at Queens Park Rangers, Rebecca now operates as Head of Football Operations at Tottenham Hotspur and has been a key member of the executive team since 2015.

Furthermore, Rebecca is also a chartered accountant and holds a joint honours degree from Loughborough University.

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Mark Cartwright
Technical Committee

Mark Cartwright
Technical Committee

Mark currently sits on the technical committee that represents Sporting Directors

He has previously held the role of Technical Director at Stoke City, and has over 30 years of experience in the game as player, agent and Technical Director.

Mark is currently the first ever Sporting Director for the United Soccer Leagues in the USA.

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Matt Jordan
Technical Committee

Matt Jordan
Technical Committee

Matt currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Vice President of Global Football for Trivela Group, an American based multi-club investment firm. 

Trivela Group recently acquired Walsall Football Club in the English Football League (EFL).

Prior to joining Trivela group, he worked in various front office executive leadership roles in Major League Soccer for 11 years.

He previously served as Vice President & General Manager for the Houston Dynamo, and Technical Director for the Montreal Impact in the MLS.

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John Thorrington
Technical Committee

John Thorrington
Technical Committee

John is currently Co-President and General Manager of Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer, who he joined in 2016.

Following his playing career, John worked as an Executive with the Major League Soccer Players Association and graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University.

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Zoran Krneta
Technical Committee

Zoran Krneta
Technical Committee

Zoran is currently the Sporting Director at Charlotte FC, the newest Major League Soccer expansion club.

Previously Zoran was Owner and Director of a global sports agency based in London, Star Sports and Entertainment

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Bruno Costa
Technical Committee: Abex Futebol Representative

Bruno Costa
Technical Committee: Abex Futebol Representative

Head of Scouting and Recruitment for the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS).
CBF Academy course Instructor, former General Manager, Assistant Sporting Director and Academy Director.
Key note Speaker.
Extensive scouting and management experience, spending  more than two decades in the Brazilian top flight (Série A), the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and the MLS (Major League Soccer), USA.
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Lee Darnbrough
Technical Committee

Lee Darnbrough
Technical Committee

Lee currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Head Of Strategic Analysis & Recruitment at Hull City Football Club, a club recently acquired by Acun Medya, a Turkish media company founded by Acun Ilıcalı.

He’s held various roles at Norwich City, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, and has 30 years of experience in the game, including being a graduate on the 1st cohort of the The Master of Sport Directorship in 2017.

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Paul Mitchell
Technical Committee

Paul Mitchell
Technical Committee

Paul is the currently the Sporting Director of AS Monaco.

Paul has held senior positions at Southampton, Tottenham and RB Leipzig before joining the Ligue 1 side in 2020.

Prior to that Paul was an English professional footballer who played as a defender or midfielder.

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Stuart Webber
Technical Committee

Stuart Webber
Technical Committee

Stuart currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents the Sporting Director members.

He has previously held the Sporting Director role at Huddersfield Town and recruitment positions at Wolverhampton Wanderers, QPR and Liverpool.

Stuart is currently Sporting Director of Norwich City.

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Dan Ashworth
Technical Committee

Dan Ashworth
Technical Committee

Dan has been a Technical Director for over 15 years at Club and National level at WBA, The FA and Brighton and Hove Albion. He was responsible for introducing formal qualifications for Recruitment and Technical Directors whilst the Technical Director at The FA and is currently the Sporting Director at Newcastle United.

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Julian Ward
Technical Committee

Julian Ward
Technical Committee

Julian currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He has worked across international and club football for Preston North End FC, Manchester City FC and the Portuguese National Team.

In 2012 Julian joined Liverpool FC’s football operations team to support the club’s scouting, recruitment and player development strategy. 

After approaching a decade at the club, Julian has recently been appointed Liverpool FC’s Sporting Director.

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Richard Hughes
Technical Committee

Richard Hughes
Technical Committee

Rich currently sits on the Technical Committee that represents Sporting Director members.

He is currently Director of Football and board member at Forest Green Rovers, he has been at the club for four seasons having initially joined as the clubs Head of Recruitment in 2018.

Previously worked at differing levels of the English Football Pyramid, working with Tamworth, Macclesfield Town, Burnley, Wigan Athletic and Everton.

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