Our Programme Leaders
Each degree programme at UCFB is fronted by a leading practitioner. Each programme leader is armed with years of experience of worldwide football and sport knowledge from their specialist discipline, ensuring students only learn from individuals who are best-in-class in their field.
Jane Abbey, MSc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management+
Jane Abbey MSc Sport Management and MSc International Sport Management
Jane Abbey is a passionate and experienced HE lecturer and a specialist in sport management. Having previously worked in the sport and leisure industry, she managed sports clubs and leisure centres. Her MBA research was based on the market structure of the Premier League. Jane teaches on modules in finance, human resource management, leadership and corporate strategy.
Jane has represented British Universities and South East England at Netball and has also played Korfball for England for 12 years. She has competed all over the world. Jane is an experienced netball coach working towards her Level 3 Coaching award. Her research interests are coaching, economics and strategic management and she supports sporting charities in Africa.
Lee Armstrong, BA (Hons) Stadium & Event Management+
Lee Armstrong, BA (Hons) Stadium & Event Management
Lee has spent the past 15 years working between academic institutions and mega events around the world.
Holding a Masters in Sport Management, Lee has delivered educational programmes and been head of department at multiple UK Further/Higher Education institutions.
He’s worked numerous international mega events, including Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and London 2012 Summer Olympics. Most recently working for the Olympic Council of Asia as an Advisor for the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta/Palembang, Indonesia.
Paul Brewster, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance+
Paul Brewster, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance
Paul is an ACCA affiliate and holds a masters degree in Business Administration. A Barbadian national, Paul was a professional jockey from the age of 16-24 and was an assistant starter at the Barbados Turf Club.
Paul previously co-managed an organisation within the horse racing and business industry which provided supplies and equipment for horses and promotional materials for businesses, before emigrating to England in 2001 to continue his education and then move into teaching within higher education.
Andreas Charalambous, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media+
Andreas Charalambous, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media
Andreas is a widely-experienced media academic who has enjoyed great success lecturing across all aspects of media studies and at a variety of levels – from philosophy, to practice of traditional and emerging media technologies.
He is currently conducting original research in a field within media studies as part of his doctorate, and has received regular invitations to speak at related academic conferences, and having his original academic work published.
Dr. Alexander Chrysanthou, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law+
Dr. Alexander Chrysanthou, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law
Alexander has worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Southampton and Lecturer at the University of Winchester. He has previously taught Sports Law from a Criminal and Intellectual Property perspective. He has lectured on and designed modules for Cyberlaw, Human Rights, Mental Health Law and Research Ethics.
He has also taught Ethics and Law to Medicine undergraduates and to students of a Masters of Research in Stem Cells, Development and Regenerative Medicine course. He designed a new teaching programme in Business English.
He co-organised and convened the Postgraduate Bioethics Conference and was a coordinator of the Small Business Clinic at the University of Southampton. He was previously Deputy Chairman of the Postgraduate Student Committee of the Institute of Medical Ethics, a Committee he co-founded. Alexander worked on the Hidden Law Makers Project in which he presented funded research on new graphical methodologies to consider hidden law making influences in medical law cases.
Robert Crump, Foundation Year+
Robert Crump, Foundation Year
Rob obtained a masters degree in Sports Coaching in 2011 at the University of Worcester, and conducted research for his thesis in Lithuania titled Analysing the Coaching Philosophy, Practice and Education of Lithuanian and English Basketball Performance Coaches.
Rob’s previous lecturing experience consisted of delivering sports coaching related modules within Higher Education. In addition, Rob has been the Programme Lead delivering the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) in Basketball competing in Under-19 college performance competitions.
Rob is a Basketball England Level-3 coach currently coaching junior teams in the National Basketball League for Northants Basketball Club. He has previously coached at regional level representing East Midlands teams in Regional competitions.
Andrea Firth-Clarke, BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology +
Andrea Firth-Clarke, BSc (Hons) Sport 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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Lee, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing+
Peter Lee, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing
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.
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.
Stacy Birchall, BA (Hons) Physical Education and Foundation Year+
Stacy Birchall, BA (Hons) Physical Education and Foundation Year
Stacy has worked within further and higher education establishments for over 10 years. During this time, she has worked with a number of professional football clubs including West Ham United and Manchester United Soccer Schools.
Stacy has worked within a range of quality departments at different organisations to promote the highest level of teaching. One of her main focuses is to encourage females to participate in sport and she has successfully increased female recruitment and participation in recent years. In order to encourage female participation in physical activity, Stacy has also launched and runs her own fitness company and has competed on an international level.
She currently has an MSc Weight Management, BSc Sports Rehabilitation and she is looking forward to completing a Professional Doctorate.
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 Mitton, BA (Hons) International Football Business+
Simon is an experienced higher education practitioner with nearly two decades of contribution to the industry working for institutions such as the University of West London, University of Central Lancashire and Oxford Brookes University.
He has held a number of roles in academic development and curriculum design. His areas of curriculum specialism include themes around organisational behaviour, corporate communication and human resource management.
In the sports world, Simon has facilitated on education provision for an EFL Championship club for a number of years, and is now developing work around the concept of ‘place attachment’, exploring themes of growing separation ‘indigenous’ fans are starting to articulate in terms of their emotional connection to their clubs.
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.
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.
Jez Semple, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Talent Development+
Jez Semple, 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.
Tom Wenham, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching+
Tom Wenham, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Coaching
Tom brings significant industry experience to UCFB having worked in the sports sector for over 25 years. That experience spans both the private and public sector and includes positions on the senior management team at British Basketball and GreaterSport.
Demonstrating an early entrepreneurial spirit Tom established and grew his own event management business over a ten-year period which saw him working on projects as far afield as China, Turkey and the USA. Tom brings extensive experience of major events having held the position of Event Director for four different World Championships in sports as diverse as Shooting, Fencing and Archery.
Following roles at the London Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games Tom first moved into academia with guest and associate lecturing roles at the Sheffield Business School and Sheffield Hallam University.
Carl Wild, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management+
Carl Wild, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Carl has over 15 years of coaching experience in both grassroots and professional environments, specifically within the female game and within the foundation phase of player development. He is currently working within a Tier 1 Regional Talent Club for Girls and in addition to this he is an Affiliated Tutor with The FA, delivering on both Level 1 and Level 2 Courses and he is also a FA Coach Mentor, supporting coaches within grassroots football.
Having completed a Sports Coaching degree, Carl is currently obtaining a Masters in 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.
Diego Borras - MSc International Sport Management (Online)+
Diego has true international experience of the football and sports industry, having previously lived and worked in the US, UK and Spain. He holds an MBA from Hult International Business School, and an MSc in Sport Management.
Diego previously spent nine years working in FC Barcelona’s medical services, and also worked as an associate lecturer at Escuela Universitaria Real Madrid Universidad Europea for the online MBA. He has also been involved in a number of multi-sport events in different capacities for over the last decade.