1. Steve Atkins – Director of comms and public affairs, Chelsea FC
Probably the best-known and networked of those football club comms directors with a direct line to the chairman. His corporate and public affairs remit is growing.
2. Charlie Brooks – Director of communications, Manchester United FC
Despite recent unrest, this is still the biggest brand in English football and Brooks has vital commercial experience from his time at Nike.
3. Susan Black – Director of comms, Liverpool FC
Without doubt the most successful club on the pitch over the past year – and with a growing reputation overall, thanks to Black.
4. Vicky Kloss – Chief communications officer, City Football Group
The wealthiest of all the clubs and arguably the most powerful, but the UEFA FFP ruling in February could be catastrophic for the Manchester City project.
5. Mark Gonnella – Director of comms, Arsenal FC
Another veteran football comms professional at the heart of what remains a large and influential club.
6. Simon Felstein – Head of communications, Tottenham Hotspur FC
An increasingly high-profile figure at a club that has joined the big league of late.
7. Richard Kenyon – Director of marketing, communications and community, Everton FC
Chief executive of Everton in the community – a broad-ranging role for this football veteran.
8. Tara Warren – Executive director, marketing and communications, West Ham FC
Warren has been at the east London club for more than a decade with a focus on marketing and branding.
9. Anthony Herlihy – Communications director, Leicester City FC
The youthful Herlihy has been at this smaller club with a growing reputation and trophy cabinet since 2011.
10. Paul Tyrrell – Chief corporate affairs officer, Aston Villa FC
Villa’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, is very ambitious and a real player in the world of football, so Tyrrell will have an influential role in the months and years ahead.
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