The UCFB Academic Team is led by a number of experienced professionals from academia and the sport industry. Leading individuals from their respected fields, this Academic Leadership Team provides expert guidance for all UCFB students and ensures a fulfilling learning environment.

Paul Cassell, Principal+

With over 30 years of experience as an educator, leader and quality inspector across a variety of education programmes, Paul is responsible for the overall academic leadership and student welfare across UCFB’s campuses. As a leader of learning, Paul sets high educational standards for the institution and is committed to delivering an unparalleled student experience as well as successful employment outcomes for UCFB students.


Neil Silver, Head of Employability & Enrichment+

Neil is an award-winning journalist, author and educational trainer who worked for a number of national newspapers before moving into education and journalism training. He has covered major sporting events including World Cup finals and the Olympic Games, and was a senior member of the London 2012 press team.

Neil, who has a Masters in Sports  Journalism, works in the industry part-time covering football for The Sun newspaper. He is also a member of the NCTJ’s Sports Exam Board.

Dr. Nick Wilde, Head of Academics (Postgraduate) - UCFB Wembley+

Nick is recognised as an expert in football marketing and has worked closely with the marketing departments of Boca Juniors, Estudiantes de la Plata and Racing in Argentina, and has previously lectured in South America conducting his lectures in fluent Spanish.

He has co-authored a global edition of a leading Event Management textbook which is currently being revised for a second edition. Nick helped to set up the Charlton Athletic United States Soccer Academy (CAUSSA) and has worked on several projects with the leading sports charity Charlton Athletic Community Trust.

Arlo Wood, Head of Academics (Undergraduate) - UCFB Wembley+

Arlo is a vastly experienced sports practitioner, with qualifications in physical education, sport science and sport psychology.

His teaching experience spans across a variety of different subjects and levels, including secondary and higher education, and mathematics and religious studies.

Dr. Gerald Griggs, Head of Academics - UCFB Etihad Campus+

Gerald has worked in education for over twenty years and brings a wealth of Higher Education experience to the team. He is a globally recognised figure in his field of Primary Physical Education and to date has published four books and over 30 international peer reviewed journal articles.

Mike Walsh, Head of Academics (Operations) - UCFB Etihad Campus+

Mike has 13 years’ experience of coaching the youth academies of Manchester United, Manchester City, Preston North End and Blackpool, travelling to and taking coaching sessions in Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East. He is a UEFA A License qualified coach, a Coach Educator at The FA, an MA in Sports Coaching and is set to begin a PhD this year.