Our Operational Board
A World First in Higher Education
The Operational Board manages all daily operations at UCFB and helps to ensure that UCFB and the degree programmes on offer at our campuses remain relevant in an ever changing industry landscape, overseeing all departments to ensure a collaborative approach at UCFB Wembley, UCFB Etihad Campus and UCFB Burnley.
Brendan Flood, Chairman+
Chairman of UCFB
Chairman of Firstpoint USA
Director of Burnley FC
Founding Owner of MLS franchise Orlando City SC
Founding Investor and Chairman of Real Estate Group and Spectrum Investment Management
UCFB’s Chairman and co-founder who led the creation of UCFB inside Turf Moor stadium, Brendan’s background also includes steering football clubs on both sides of the Atlantic to new heights.
First joining Burnley FC’s Board of Directors in 2006, Brendan became its major investor and Operational Director in 2007, playing a significant role in the club’s first promotion to the Premier League in 2009 and two subsequent promotions since.
One of the founding owners of MLS side Orlando City SC, Brendan has helped to shape its recent success which includes a playing squad that can boast Brazilian superstar, Kaka.
Brendan has several decades of experience as a leader and founder of multiple highly successful property and investment companies, particularly in the north-west of England.
Professor Philip Wilson, Chief Executive+
Chief Executive of UCFB
Chief Executive and a co-founder of UCFB, Philip has played a key role in establishing UCFB as the world leader in higher education for the football, sport and events industries since its first cohort of students began in 2011.
Overseeing UCFB’s expansion from its initial campus at Burnley’s historic Turf Moor stadium to Wembley Stadium and Etihad Stadium and introducing UCFB’s graduates into the world of sport, Philip also secured the UK’s first ever higher education postgraduate partnership with the Real Madrid Graduate School in 2015.
Having graduated first class in the Management School with an MBA in Football Industries from the University of Liverpool, Philip is an active member of the Institute of Directors, Chair of Independent Higher Education and a member of GuildHE.
Sharona Friedman, Chief Marketing Officer+
Chief Marketing Officer of UCFB
With a wealth of experience in global education institutions and businesses spanning five continents, Sharona was brought to UCFB in 2014 from Imperial College London, where she was Head of International Student Recruitment and Marketing.
Sitting on the UCFB Operational Board and reporting to the Chairman and the Executive Board, Sharona has overall responsibility for global marketing, international and domestic student recruitment, marketing and recruitment partnerships, programme admissions and both domestic and international events.
Having led a period of significant student and brand growth since beginning at UCFB, Sharona’s department was recently shortlisted for Marketing Team of the Year by Marketing Week magazine.
John Davies, Chief Financial Officer+
Chief Financial Officer of UCFB
A trusted and experienced finance director across multiple sectors, John sits on the UCFB Operational Board reporting to the Chairman and the Executive Board.
His department is responsible for the financial reporting, accounting and logistics of UCFB’s three unique campus locations at the iconic Wembley Stadium, London, the state-of-the-art Etihad Stadium, Manchester and the historic Turf Moor, Burnley.
Paul Cassell, Principal+
Principal of UCFB
A successful senior manager in further and higher education as well as a former associate Ofsted inspector, Paul leads the academic department at UCFB and oversees all aspects of quality assurance, enhancement and quality systems.
Paul’s remit includes overall responsibility for the delivery of UCFB’s unique undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, partnerships with its esteemed academic partner institutions and oversight of Student Services teams at each campus.