The FA Management

Mark Bullingham, CEO, The Football Association

The FA's Senior Management Team, working together with the FA Board, Council and staff, aims to deliver an effective and professional organisation for the greater good of English football. The FA consists of a permanent staff, based at Wembley Stadium and St. George's Park.

Senior Management Team

Mark Bullingham
Chief Executive Officer

Mark was named as The FA’s Chief Executive Officer on 1 August 2019.

He initially joined the organisation as Commercial Director in August 2016, when he led the commercial, marketing, digital and participation functions at the organisation and under his tenure, annual revenue at the FA rose by over £100m.B

Before his move to Wembley, Mark held the position of CEO EMEA for Fuse Sports & Entertainment, responsible for running one of the fastest growing businesses in the sector.  The team had grown quickly over five years to 245 across 17 offices with an annual fee income of over €28m.  The client portfolio included ten of the top 30 global brands.

Mark joined Fuse in 2011 from his position as director of marketing for the America’s Cup Event Authority in San Francisco, where he helped transform the global event.

Mark has negotiated over $2bn of partnerships across a variety of platforms in sports, arts and music and is a qualified Level One coach involved in grassroots football.

Mark Burrows
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Mark joined the FA in March 2016 as Chief Financial Officer. Since joining the organisation he has assumed additional responsibility for most of the corporate business functions as well as the operations at the FA's venues, Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park. He is also responsible for bidding for and delivering major tournaments, and most recently was Chair of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Local Organising Structure.

Prior to joining the FA, Mark was the Group CFO at Virgin Active. He has previously held senior finance roles with BSkyB, Virgin Mobile, and the Iglo Group, having qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC.

Andy Ambler
Director of Professional Game Relations

Andy joined in the autumn of 2016, following a nine-year spell as chief executive at Millwall Football Club.

He took up a newly-created strategic role to strengthen relationships with the professional game in line with its four-year strategic vision to provide trusted regulation and efficient administration.

A key focus for Andy is to develop positive engagement and collaborative working across the Premier League, English Football League and their clubs, as well as those organisations representing players, managers and supporters.

Andy previously spent time at Fulham, and also served on the Football League board.

Rachel Brace
Human Resources Director

Rachel joined from England Rugby 2015, the tournament organisers for World Cup.

She was one of the early members of the team responsible for building and mobilising a workforce of over 6000 people and prior to that she was the head of HR operations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

She joined that team in 2007 and was a key player in the organisation’s journey from small-to-big and transforming itself from an HQ in London to a multi-venue world-class sporting event.

The first half of Rachel’s career was spent in retail, namely Marks and Spencer, where she gained some very valuable skills and experience through the changing times of another national institution, particularly in her last role as head of HR for the clothing division.

Baroness Campbell CBE
Director of Women's Football

Sue was appointed Head of Women’s Football in March 2016, and became Director of Women’s Football in January 2018.

Among many honours, Sue has received eleven honorary doctorates and in June 2003, Sue was awarded a Commander of the British Empire for her services to sport. 

In April 2005 she was appointed as Chair for UK Sport, following 18 months as the Reform Chair. Sue held this position for two terms until April 2013, where she presided over Team GB and Paralympic GB’s incredible performance at the London 2012 games. 

In December 2008 Sue was appointed to the House of Lords as an independent Crossbench Peer. Sue was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

Craig Donald
Chief Information Officer

Craig joined in July 2018, and has responsibility for the entire Information Technology estate. 

With degrees in Philosophy and Theology, Craig started his career in IT support for a global software company, gaining his first management role less than eight months later. He has since worked in IT management across many industries including defence, software and hardware manufacturing, and global multi-channel distribution. Most recently Craig spent six years in the aviation industry, firstly managing the entire application estate for Virgin Atlantic and subsequently operations and corporate systems for easyJet.

Outside of work, Craig is a keen scuba diver, is passionate about health & fitness and spends many evenings enjoying London’s theatre scene.

Joanna Manning-Cooper – Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs

Joanna Manning-Cooper was appointed to the role of Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs in September 2022. Prior to joining the FA, she was Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Sky.

Joanna leads our Marketing, Communications and Corporate Affairs (MCC) team for England Football and the FA. She has over 25 years of experience in communications, corporate affairs and marketing roles in sport and media, including senior leadership roles with the RFU, Rugby World Cup 2015, the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and the Financial Times. 

She was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to Sport.

Polly Handford
Legal & Governance Director

Polly joined in 2014 and, since 2016, has been our Legal and Governance Director. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the legal function for the FA - both the commercial elements such as the broadcast and sponsorship agreements and the regulatory side - as well as the game governance function which includes Integrity (including betting, match fixing and anti-doping), safeguarding case management, and all aspects of FA discipline both on and off-field. She is also responsible for the Company Secretarial function.

Polly has been involved in sport for a number of years. She previously worked for the Rugby Football Union dealing with a wide range of legal and governance issues spanning commercial, contentious, regulatory and governance. She also headed up the safeguarding team. She represented the RFU in many disciplinary cases both for on-field and off-field offences and was a member of the anti-doping advisory group as well as drafting and advising on commercial contracts. Prior to moving in-house she was a partner in a law firm based in Mayfair, Forsters LLP.

She's also a director on the Board of the British Association for Sport and Law and is a member of both UEFA and FIFA’s Disciplinary Bodies.

James Kendall
Director of Football Development

James joined in September 2019. He is responsible for grassroots football which includes our work in developing the game across male, female and disability football; harnessing the club network and facility infrastructure across the country; working closely with the County FAs to support delivery of football in their county’s; and ensuring the FA’s digital ecosystem is developed to provide for the administrative needs of the game.

James has spent nearly 25 years in the sports industry working in a number of senior strategy and commercial roles. Prior to joining the FA, he worked in two stints for Portas Consulting, a global management consultancy dedicated to sport and physical activity, where he was the partner responsible for its London office and European business. During this time he led multiple projects for International Federations, National Governing Bodies and corporate businesses - principally around participation and social impact - including for the FA and UEFA.

Between his times at Portas, he was commercial director at Harlequins Rugby Club and has previously worked for BSkyB, Volvo Cars and the Volvo Ocean Race.

John McDermott
Technical Director

John took over the role in January 2021, following the departure of predecessor Les Reed to who he had acted as assistant to since June 2020.

As a coach, John has worked with many of the brightest young players and coaches in the game across his years of experience with Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and the FA.

In his 15 years at Spurs, he oversaw their academy and helped to bring through future England internationals such as Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Steven Caulker, Andros Townsend, Jake Livermore, Harry Winks and Ryan Mason, as well as a considerable number currently in the Young Lions pipeline.

He has also helped develop the careers of many coaches including Fulham manager Scott Parker and his assistant, Matt Wells, plus Liverpool academy manager Alex Inglethorpe. McDermott has also worked closely with Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino and then José Mourinho in support of the Spurs first team.

Prior to his work with Tottenham Hotspur and the FA, McDermott began his coaching career with Watford and worked his way up through the ranks to become their academy manager.

Lucy Pearson
Director of FA Education

Lucy plays a strategic role within our technical directorate at St. George’s Park, with overall responsibility for coach education and our professional development programme with a key objective of growing the number of qualified and appropriately-skilled coaches across the game.

Working at the national football centre, Pearson brings the benefits of a high-achieving career in education coupled with an elite sporting background.

Formerly the Head of Cheadle Hulme School in Cheshire, where she was the first woman to hold that position in its 150-year history, Pearson played cricket for England between 1996 and 2005, and has been a director of the England and Wales Cricket Board since 2016.

Navin Singh
Commercial Director

The FA appointed Navin Singh as its new Commercial Director in November 2021. He's responsible for all aspects of our commercial strategy and plays a key role in the organisation’s ongoing digital transformation. He oversees a wide-ranging portfolio that includes all England teams, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the Emirates FA Cup, the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

Prior to joining the FA, Navin was chief commercial officer of the prestigious United States Golf Association. He led the USGA’s global commercial strategy for its assets including the major men’s and women’s U.S. Open championships.

During his career, Navin has held senior commercial and strategy roles with Scripps Networks Interactive, WWE, Wasserman and Golf Channel, after starting his career in management consulting with Accenture.

Kelly Simmons MBE
Director of Women's Professional Game

Kelly Simmons MBE took up the new role of Director of the Women’s Professional Game in September 2018 to help deliver and transform professional women’s football in England.  She oversees the Barclays Women’s Super League, Barclays Women’s Championship, FA Women’s National League and the Women’s Pyramid of Football. 

Initially joining the FA in December 1991, she was previously our Director of Participation and Development, overseeing the implementation of a £200m four year investment programme into children’s and grassroots football. 

Kelly was awarded an MBE in 2002 for Services to Football and received the BT Sports Industry Award for ‘Leadership in Sport’ in 2016.