Susan Whelan

LCFC Double At Football Business Awards As Susan Whelan Is Named CEO Of The Year

Leicester City’s Susan Whelan was named CEO of the Year at the 2021 Football Business Awards in London on Thursday, as the Club celebrated a number of commendations from its industry peers.

- Leicester City’s Susan Whelan wins CEO of the Year at the 2021 Football Business Awards
- Club also wins Best Fan Engagement category for outreach efforts during the pandemic
- Susan Whelan thanks Club personnel and community partners for supporting City’s progress
- Foxes also earn commendations in Digital/Social Media and Technology categories

Having been named Premier League CEO of the Year in the divisional categories earlier in the afternoon, Susan was selected the overall winner by the judges for her work in leading the Club through one of the most challenging seasons the industry has ever faced.

The judges’ independent choices for divisional winners – Susan (Premier League), Jon Varney of Brentford (previously Championship), Ben Mansford of Blackpool (League 1), Henry Staelens of Forest Green Rovers (League 2) and Stewart Robertson of Rangers (SPFL) – were all nominated for the overall award for outstanding leadership during the 2020/21 season.

It was Susan that emerged as the judges’ overall winner, following a campaign in which the Club recorded a number of outstanding achievements, set against the challenging backdrop of a global pandemic. City lifted the FA Cup for the first time in our history at the end of the 2020/21 season, while also securing a second consecutive fifth-place finish in the Premier League. The Club also completed and moved into our spectacular new training facility in Seagrave during the season, while moving forward with land acquisitions and planning that will enable the expansion and enhancement of the King Power Stadium site.

It was also a season in which the Club reached out to and supported its communities through the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 – engaging with supporters, local authorities, community partners, charities and good causes to ensure support was available to those that needed it throughout the city and wider county.

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Susan Whelan
Susan Whelan

Susan Whelan won CEO of the Year at the 2021 Football Business Awards.

Susan told “I’m truly humbled and enormously grateful to the judges for such an honour, which is an endorsement of the work of the entire Club. I’m extremely proud to be part of it and proud of all our personnel that continue to contribute to Leicester City’s progress. I should also like to pay tribute to our community partners in Leicester and Leicestershire, without whom the Club would not be as effective in engaging with our communities and representing our city.

“Congratulations to all of the divisional winners, who would have been equally worthy of the overall award. The 2020/21 season brought unprecedented challenges for football clubs all over the UK but, through the outstanding support of their fans, together with the commitment, creativity and resilience of professionals throughout the industry, we can all look forward to brighter times ahead.”

Along with Susan’s recognition, City were also named winners of the Best Fan Engagement by a Club for our efforts to remotely engage, entertain and educate our supporters during the pandemic. An initiative delivered through close collaboration between its Supporter Engagement and Content & Creative teams, the programme saw the Club pivot to an interactive digital experience, targeting supporters of all ages – from junior fans tackling the demands of home schooling, right through to elderly supporters experiencing isolation and loneliness.

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Football Business Awards
Football Business Awards

City were also named winners of the Best Fan Engagement by a Club.

The Club also received high commendations in both the Best Digital and Social Media Team category for establishment and rapid growth on TikTok and in the Best Use of Technology in a Football Club category for its intelligent IPTV implementation to support football operations at Seagrave. Leicester City in the Community were also among the nominees for the Best Football Community Scheme.

Launched in 2012 the Football Business Awards celebrate the very best in football business and attract 500 attendees to the ceremony each year.

The judging panel is made up of Chief Executives of Football Clubs, Professional Football Associations and Grassroots Football Organisations – all individuals whose knowledge, expertise and experience gives them special insight into the challenges and demands of football business success.

Designed to celebrate the vital influence of business within football the Football Business Awards recognise the organisations, teams and individuals who excel in a variety of business, CSR and football governance disciplines.

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