Our Programme Leaders
Each degree programme at UCFB is fronted by a leading practitioner from academia and the sport industry. Each programme leader is armed with years of experience of worldwide sport knowledge from their specialist discipline, ensuring students only learn from individuals who are best-in-class in their field.
Gustavo Spanholi, BA (Hons) International Football Business+
Gustavo Spanholi, BA (Hons) International Football Business
Gustavo has true international experience of the football and sport industry, having previously lived and worked in France, Hong Kong and Brazil – his home country.
Holding a Masters Degree in Football Industries from the University of Liverpool, Gustavo previously spent three years as the chief commercial and marketing officer at Figueirense FC, one of Brazil’s leading clubs. Under his leadership, the club tripled sponsorship revenues, increased memberships and global brands including Coca-Cola and Adidas partnered the club. Gustavo has also led a number of projects for the likes of for mobile app agency Netco Sports and iconic Derby County FC.
Jon Whittingham, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching+
Jon Whittingham, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching
Jon has spent ten years working within football and sport development, including for The Football Association across a number of elite England international disability squads, and continues to coach within The FA disability talent pathway.
Jon has a variety of coaching qualifications and a Masters in Sport & Exercise Psychology. He has previously worked for Middlesex FA and the English Federation of Disability Sport, and is an FA Affiliate Tutor for a variety of coach education courses.
Dr. Nick Wilde, MSc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management+
Dr. Nick Wilde, MSc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management
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.
Dr. Spyros Doukas, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing+
Dr. Spyros Doukas, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing
Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Spyros Doukas completed his undergraduate education in Business Administration at the State University of New York, Empire State College, his master’s degree from the State University of New York, Maritime College, and his doctorate in Sports Management/Marketing from the United States Sports Academy. His research focuses on Olympism, perceptions of benefits and costs of the Olympics, mega events and sport logistics.
Spyros has worked for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Jet Set Sports/Sports Illustrated at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and as a sports marketing workshop trainer for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee for various sports federations.
Mick Kelly, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting+
Mick Kelly, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting
Mick is an award-winning media professional with over 20 years’ experience of working in journalism and television production. He has produced and directed a wide range of content for the likes of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Sports News.
On top of his academic duties, Mick is currently undertaking a Masters in social media, culture and society.
Darren Smith, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management+
Darren Smith, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Darren is a UEFA A License qualified coach, and has spent the last 11 years working for Nike and coaching within the Nike Academy. He has been running a community football club since 2001, which currently has 28 players in the professional environment including Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.
Darren has spent eight years working for the London Football Association in football development, as a Football Development Officer for Inclusion, Education and Futsal. In 2005 he coached a session with Brazil legend Ronaldinho.
Andrea Firth-Clarke, BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology +
Andrea Firth-Clarke, BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology
Andrea is a chartered sport psychologist, and registered with BUPA and the Health and Care Professions Council. She has worked with a variety of athletes and performing artists including two world champions, as well as at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Her research interests include heart rate variability, biofeedback and performance, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural interventions. Andrea is set to finish her PhD this year.
Tim Collings, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media+
Tim Collings, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media
Tim is a widely-experienced media professional and academic who has experience as a news journalist, sports reporter, features writer, sub-editor and editor at the likes of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Reuters, AFP and Sky News.
Tim has covered ten World Cup finals, many European Championships, several summer and winter Olympic Games and more than 350 Formula One Grands Prix. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has written more than a dozen books relating to sport.
Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy, BA (Hons) Physical Education+
Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy, BA (Hons) Physical Education
Chrissie is a health and fitness entrepreneur; publishing over 13 fitness books and running a company of 40 professional health practitioners for 20+ years. Her qualifications in health, fitness and pedagogy have led to her lecturing for schools, universities and providing health interventions for major companies and the NHS.
Sara-Louise Hale, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law+
Sara-Louise Hale, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law
Sara is a dual graduate holding degrees in both sport and law. On top of her academic credentials, Sara has worked for leading law firm IrwinMitchell LLP on a number of high profile cases, including Operation Enigma, a multi handed money laundering case, and Operation Bamburgh, one of the largest mortgage fraud cases ever to be brought in the UK.
Aside from her work at UCFB, Sara is also a high performance netball coach and is currently the assistant coach for the England Netball Roses and Manchester Thunder, who play in the Vitality Netball Super League.
Simon Fitzjohn, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism+
Simon Fitzjohn, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism
Simon is a highly respected former sport reporter who covered a range of sports while working for Newsquest South London, and also covered London rugby league for national papers, including The Sun and the Mail On Sunday. Simon was head of journalism at Harlow College, where he won a Pearson Teaching Award, before joining UCFB in June 2016.
Simon has also travelled extensively around the USA, writing about baseball for a series of websites and is also a published author.
Jez Semple, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management and BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Talent Development+
Jez Semple, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management and BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Talent Development
Jez has over 14 years of coaching experience in grassroots, academy and professional environments, from youth to both the male and female senior game.
After finishing his playing career, he completed his FA Level 2 and then UEFA B Licence, originally teaching school teams before taking his own education further. After completing a coaching science degree, Jez started to coach in academy youth groups before taking on a tutoring role with The FA, where he has since delivered a number of FA Level 1 and 2 courses.
Russell Preston, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing+
Russell Preston, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing
Russell’s extensive experience of teaching marketing within higher education is complemented by his membership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Having lived in Asia for a number of years, Russell has a world view on the diverse subject, something which is especially vital in today’s football, sport and events industries. His work at UCFB has enabled his passion and enthusiasm for football to be embedded in the curriculum, with his extensive experience from attending major sporting events around the world.
Greg Nixon, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media+
Greg Nixon, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media
Greg is an award-winning journalist who has worked for local, regional and national newspapers for almost 20 years. After graduating he started as a trainee reporter with the Warrington Guardian, winning a Press Gazette Award for his coverage of the IRA terrorist attacks on the town in 1993.
From there, he has worked for various local titles, including as news editor for the Chester Chronicle series, assistant night editor for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo and production editor for the Lancashire Evening Post, as well as regular stints with the Daily Star, News of the World and Daily Mail in London.
Greg took up teaching in 2007 and has led programmes at institutions across the north west.
Chris Boyd, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching+
Chris Boyd, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching
Chris has a plethora of experience at leading clubs around England, with previous work including international roles with Arsenal, Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers, youth work with the likes of Wigan Athletic and Blackpool, and recruitment efforts for Manchester City and Stoke City.
He holds a Masters in Sports Coaching, PGCE and the UEFA A Licence, and is in the process of completing a Professional Doctorate in Elite Performance Coaching.
Ian Tomlinson, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance+
Ian Tomlinson, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance
Ian has a broad range of experience in the education and training sector, from professional groups to schools and colleges.
His extensive background of financial management has seen Ian work as a consultant, as well as write and develop bespoke programmes for various companies in finance and accounting. Ian’s published academic papers include looking into the financial heritage of cricket and its commercialisation, as well as the integration and differentiation of commercialisation in the church.
Colm Griffith, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism+
Colm Griffith, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism
Colm is an experienced senior lecturer in sport media, having worked in the Higher Education sector for over 10 years. Before entering the teaching profession, Colm worked as a newspaper journalist covering news and sport across the north west of England for various organisations including the Manchester Evening News.
As technology started to change, Colm moved into the field of online publishing, helping to develop the Manchester Evening News’ website as assistant content producer. As a freelance rugby writer Colm also worked for the Daily Express, Daily Mail and The Times.
Simon Tansey, BA (Hons) Physical Education+
Simon Tansey, BA (Hons) Physical Education
Simon has 13 years’ experience in secondary education, which has included positions such as head of year and head of department. He has also previously led on examining physical education at GCSE to drive forward teaching and learning standards.
Simon is also a UEFA B Licence holder, and holds a Level 2 qualification across a number of other sporting disciplines.
David Horracks, MA Football Coaching & Analysis+
David Horracks, MA Football Coaching & Analysis
David has recently submitted a PhD thesis on elite performance completed with players and staff from Manchester United Football Club. The thesis has two published papers to date: Manchester United and Serial Winning, and Gary Neville – A Case Study. David also has a first class degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Alongside academic duties David is an active consultant in the professional game and lectures for The Football Association on the prestigious UEFA Pro Licence. Other past professional duties include sports psychologist, performance consultant, and coaching roles at Bury, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City football clubs and a period of three years on the European, South African and USPGA professional golf tours. The latter in the role of performance director to players in Majors, Ryder Cups and World Golf Championships.