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.
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 and BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching+
Darren Smith, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management and BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching
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.
Arlo Wood, BA (Hons) Physical Education+
Arlo Wood, BA (Hons) Physical Education
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.
Desislava Goranova, BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management+
Desislava Goranova, BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management
Desi has worked and been involved in a number of the world’s largest sporting events in recent years. At the London 2012 Olympics, she coordinated transport for athletes and officials around the country, and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years later she led the team in charge of spectator experience.
As well as a strong academic background, Desi was an elite gymnast and represented Bulgaria on the international stage.
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.
Krešimir Buntic, BA (Hons) International Football Business+
Krešimir Buntic, BA (Hons) International Football Business
Krešimir has extensive experience teaching undergraduate and postgraduate business and management in Croatia, Spain and the UK. His previous academic employment has included Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Oxford Brookes and the Rochester Institute of Technology in his native Croatia.
Krešimir has combined a career in education with professional experience in various business sectors in the UK and abroad as an entrepreneur, management consultant and investment adviser. He recently completed his FA Level 2 coaching certificate to enable him to coach his local team in Oxford.
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.
Salim Aissat, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance+
Salim Aissat, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance
Salim has a significant track-record of teaching and course leadership at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including online and blended learning, and has taught across a range of finance courses including corporate finance, corporate governance, investment analysis, financial markets and risk management.
Peter Lee, Msc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management+
Peter Lee, Msc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management
Peter has vast experience across a number of industries, including logistics, financial services, manufacturing and education, as well as research work with the NHS and government.
His sport business interests have included the £400m acquisition of a Premier League club, where he led a team of lawyers and financiers, as well as ex-Premier League chairpersons, in the pursuit of the club. Peter’s network of contacts is extraordinary and covers the top echelons of sport, government, finance, law, manufacturing, military and technology.
Rosalind McKenzie, NCTJ Diploma in Journalism+
Rosalind McKenzie, NCTJ Diploma in Journalism
Roz is a former national newspaper journalist and features editor having worked for News UK and National News Press Agency. She taught NCTJ programmes at Lambeth College for ten years, including piloting a journalism apprenticeship scheme with BBC Radio 4, The Independent, Evening Standard, Sky Sports News, Daily Telegraph and the regional press, before joining UCFB in June 2016.
Roz is an NCTJ board director and trustee, member of the Society of Editors and a judge for the Press Gazette Awards and Regional Press Awards.
Jez Semple, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management+
Jez Semple, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
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.