Close-up shot of the Manchester FA logo.

Board & Staff

John McLellan Grant

Chair of the Board

 John McLellan Grant
 
John is the Chair of Manchester FA’s Board of Directors.
 
With more than 15 years of experience in Business Development, Account Management, Procurement and Business Consultancy, John specialises in developing short- and long-term strategies to increase sales, implement profit improvements and process efficiencies as well as researching new areas for business development.

John has a proven track record in high level Account Management across a range of industry sectors. He prides himself on delivering excellent customer service and account development.

 

Jason Craven
Vice-Chair of the Board
 
JASON CRAVEN
 
Jason has worked for the FA as a Coach Mentor and a Level 1 coach tutor. Having spent over 10 years as a coach at West End, working with age groups from under 8’s to under 21’s, Jason also held the role of club Chairman and Development Manager during his time at the club. 

As an FA Coach Mentor, Jason supported coaches across Greater Manchester, to help them to develop their skills and understandings of FA training methods.

He has been involved on Manchester FA’s board for over three years, and outside of his time working with Manchester FA, Jason is also proud to work with Manchester-based charity ‘Families Against Violence’.
 

 

Chris Brindley

Senior Non-Executive Director

Chris Brindley MBE

After Executive roles with NatWest, British Gas and Metro Bank, Chris now has a portfolio of NED and Chair roles in Business and Sport. He also is a global keynote speaker and Executive Coach.

He is Chair of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Senior NED at the Rugby Football League, ( RFL ) a Board member of the Super League, Senior NED of the Manchester Football Association, NED at Equilibrium LLP and Chair of the Sporting House Group. 

From an Executive coaching perspective, Chris is the Leadership and Business Coach at Metro Bank, Switch the Play, Athlete Inspire Programme and Goodson Thomas. Chris has coached Executives from companies such as Heineken, Muller, Telent and Halfords. Chris is also a Business Mentor for the Premier League, Elite Academy Managers Programme.

Chris describes himself not as a theorist, but a skilled and experienced practitioner. He is a leading authority on Performance Management, Strategy, Customer Experience and Employee Engagement; particularly within organisations where change is a feature.

Will Blandamer

 Independent Non-Executive Director

Will Blandamer

Will currently works for Manchester Local Care Organisation, the organisation responsible for local care in Manchester. Manchester LCO also works to integrate health and care services in neighbourhoods across Manchester.

Will is a senior public service manager working in NHS and local authority services, focusing on integrating health and care and wider public services, improving population health and reducing health inequalities, and believing in the power of individuals and communities to be supported to be in control of their lives.  

In his spare time, Will works as the Chairman of a grassroots football club which is affiliated to Cheshire FA.

Anthony Lawler

 Independent Non-Executive Director

Anthony Lawler MCIPD

Anthony has gained more than 37 years of HR experience across both the private and public sectors. The majority of his career has been spent at senior and executive level in the sporting sector, including more than two decades at Manchester United Football Club.

He now works as Human Resources Director for People Horizons, where he has provided strategic HR support to companies in the FMCG, engineering, professional PR, real estate and sporting sectors.


Anthony is a generalist with across the board expertise in both strategic and operational HR activities, including employee engagement, talent management, reward, organisational development/design, learning & development, equality & inclusion and safeguarding.
Geraldine Ryan

 Independent Non-Executive Director

Geraldine Ryan

Geraldine leads CMS UK’s Manchester office, where she leads a team of litigators and works with colleagues from across the firm. 

Geraldine has almost 30 years' experience in handling all types of high-profile, high-value and complex litigation, including judicial review and arbitration. 

She specialises in commercial dispute resolution, breach of contract and professional negligence claims and regularly advises clients regarding contractual termination issues. She has successfully represented clients in the Court of Appeal in two significant contractual cases on contract interpretation and restraint of trade. 

Geraldine is also recognised for defamation and reputation management issues and was one of a very small number based outside London who acted in the phone hacking claims. 

She has advised clients on competition law issues, including advice for a large corporate client in respect of potential abuses of dominant position, issues surrounding restrictive covenants in leases and separately in respect of the development of out of town shopping centres. 

In 2017, the Manchester Evening News listen Geraldine as one of their Top 100 Inspirational Women. She sits as a Judge on the MEN Business of the Year Awards, and is a regular speaker at sport and business events, where she advocates the role of women in sport and business.

Robina Shah

 Independent Non-Executive Director

 Dr Robina Shah MBE JP DL FRCGP (HONS) SHFEA

Robina is a Chartered Consultant Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience in the Division of Medical Education, University of Manchester. 

She is an established author with a specialist interest in the practice of psychosocial medicine, person centred care and supporting children with a learning disability. 

She is also passionate about promoting young people and involving them in decisions about their education, health and mental well-being.

Elliot Ward

Director

Elliot Ward

Elliot is an experienced PR, corporate communications, media relations and public affairs professional, with expertise in the sports industry. 

He is currently PR Manager at Manchester City Football Club where he is responsible for ‘off the pitch’ PR, corporate communications and public affairs. Elliot also supports communications activities globally for Manchester City and City Football Group’s network of clubs. 

Prior to this, Elliot was appointed as Manchester City Women’s first Communications Manager and led on all aspects of communications during an unprecedented period of success for the club. In his time at Manchester City, Elliot has also worked within the club’s Media Relations department. 

Elliot is an award-winning graduate with BA (Hons) Politics and Modern History and MA Political Science - European Politics and Policy, from the University of Manchester.

In addition to his role at Manchester City, Elliot is an Executive Director at Manchester FA where he provides counsel and advice in the areas of marketing and communications.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS & Our game in manchester chairs

John McLellan-Grant (Chair), Jason Craven (Vice Chair), Chris Brindley MBE (Senior Non-Executive Director), Colin Bridgford (Director & Company Secretary).

Rebecca Britain (Independent Non Executive Director), Elliot Ward (Director), Will Blandamer (Independent Non Executive Director & Safeguarding Champion), Geraldine Ryan (Independent Non-Executive Director), Anthony Lawler (Independent Non-Executive Director), Dr Robina Shah MBE, JP (Independent Non-Executive Director), Karen Bardsley (Independent Non-Executive Director).

FA Representative: Colin Bridgford 

Tania Brown (Safeguarding Champion)
Paul Graham (Referee Development Team)
Shannon Howarth (Women & Girls Group)
Keith Marsden (League Working Group)
Rob Goodwin-Davey (Competitions Working Group)
Mike Richmond (Membership)
Matt Fox-Rees (Membership)

STAFF

Colin Bridgford

Colin Bridgford

Chief Executive Officer & Senior Safeguarding Lead

Supports: Manchester United

Role: To lead the Manchester FA team and ensure the business represents the needs of its members.

07403 731813

Colin.Bridgford@ManchesterFA.com 

Lauren McCorry

Lauren McCorry

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Supports: Manchester United

Role: To act as a source of advice on safeguarding matters. But also support training and education.

07824 491994

Lauren.McCorry@ManchesterFA.com 

Rachael Davies

Rachael Birchall 

Chief Operating Officer
(Currently on Maternity Leave)

Supports: Bedford Town

Role: To deliver a Football Development Strategy and develop strong partnerships with key stakeholders.

07341 885143

Rachael.Birchall@ManchesterFA.com

Linda Meehan

Linda Meehan

Finance Controller

Supports: Manchester United

Role: To manage the finance across the whole of the business and ensure it is financially sound.

0161 225 1966

Linda.Meehan@ManchesterFA.com 

Andy Baker

andy Baker

Football Development Manager

Supports: Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

Role: To support members in their continual development to sustain and grow new provision. Manages all FDOs

07979 242707

Andy.Baker@ManchesterFA.com 

Paul Roots

Paul Roots

Business Operations Manager

Supports: AFC Bournemouth

Role: Administers all aspects of Manchester FA County Cup competitions.

0161 225 1966

Paul.Roots@ManchesterFA.com 

Callum Convery

Callum Convery

Projects Coordinator

Supports: 1. FC Köln

Role: Supports the wider areas of the business on key deliveries for Our Game in Manchester.

0161 225 1966

Callum.Convery@ManchesterFA.com

Andy McNnulty New

Andy McAnulty

Football Administration Officer (Discipline)

Supports: Hyde United

Role: Administers all aspects of Manchester  FA discipline cases.

0161 225 1966

Andrew.McAnulty@ManchesterFA.com 

James Longdin

James Longdin

Football Development Officer
(Education & Workforce)

Supports: Manchester City

Role: To work closely with the County Coach Educator to deliver bespoke courses.

0161 225 1966

James.Longdin@ManchesterFA.com 

Anne Smyth

Anne Smyth

Football Development Administrator

Supports: Manchester United

Role: To work with the Education & Workforce FDO on completing administrative duties for Manchester FA courses.

0161 225 1966

Annem.Smyth@ManchesterFA.com

Sarah Cummings

Sarah Cummings

Football Development Officer (Clubs & Leagues)

Supports: Manchester United

Role: To work closely with our Charter Standard clubs on developing plans to support participation and enhance opportunities for volunteers.

0161 225 1966

Sarah.Cummings@ManchesterFA.com 

Steven Edwards

Steven Edwards

Football Development Officer (Disability)

Supports: Bolton Wanderers

Role: To support and develop disability football opportunities in Greater Manchester.

0161 225 1966

Steven.Edwards@ManchesterFA.com 

Tom Elliott

Tom Elliott

Referee Development Officer

Supports: Crewe Alexandra

Role: Recruit, retain and develop referees of all levels across Greater Manchester.

0161 225 1966

Tom.Elliott@ManchesterFA.com 

Conor Brown

Conor Brown

Referee Duty of Care & Appointments Officer

Supports: Rochdale AFC

Role: To work closely with the Referee Development Officer and Designated Safeguarding Officer to support over 200 Match Officials in Greater Manchester who are under the age of 18.

0161 225 1966

Conor.Brown@ManchesterFA.com 

Alex West

Alex West

Football Development Officer (For All)

Supports: Manchester City

Role:To support football development across Greater Manchester. 

0161 225 1966

Alex.West@ManchesterFA.com

Olivia Laiker

Olivia Laiker

Football Development Officer
(Women & Girls)

Supports: Manchester City

Role: To provide support and develop member clubs and leagues in Greater Manchester.

0161 225 1966

Olivia.Laiker@ManchesterFA.com 

Chris Berrevoets

Chris Berrevoets

Football Development and Competitions Administration

Supports: Arsenal

Role: To work closely with the Football Development and Competitions teams to provide administration support.

0161 225 1966

Chris.Berrevoets@ManchesterFA.com

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