Whelan claimed the top award from the five divisional CEO of the Year winners across the Premier League, EFL and SPFL.
Jon Varney took the prize for the EFL Championship and in Leagues One and Two, Ben Mansford (Blackpool FC) and Henry Staelans (Forest Green Rovers) were the winners. In the SPFL, the prize went to Stewart Robertson of Rangers FC.
Manchester United legend, Gary Neville received the coveted Global Football Ambassador Award which recognised the important impact he has made on football away from the pitch.
Previous recipients of the Global Ambassador Award include Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, Jimmy Armfield CBE, Sir Trevor Brooking CBE and Tony Adams MBE.
Clubs from across the UK football pyramid joined sponsors, partners, community schemes and businesses to celebrate exceptional work in the game across 26 categories at a lunchtime ceremony at The Brewery in London.
Now in its 9th addition, the Football Business Awards recognise and reward the off-pitch talents and endeavours that are an invaluable, part of the fabric of football and the communities clubs serve.
Attended by over 350 leading football industry executives, the awards are considered the industry’s foremost accolade, attracting hundreds of entries every year from both the business units within football clubs and those professional services and businesses dedicated to supporting clubs and the game itself.
Football Business Awards 2021 Winners
Simon Burton, Co-founder of the Football Business Awards, said: “The last year has shown how important football is to so many people. The way in which the football clubs and the businesses that support them have risen to the challenge of the pandemic proves this is no ordinary business. It is at the heart of communities everywhere and we are honoured to celebrate these outstanding achievements and initiatives.”
The winners are:
Global Football Ambassador Award: Gary Neville
fcbusiness Overall CEO of the Year: Susan Whelan, Leicester City FC
CEO of the Year (Premier League): Susan Whelan, Leicester City FC
CEO of the Year (Championship): Jon Varney, Brentford FC
CEO of the Year (League One): Ben Mansford, Blackpool FC
CEO of the Year (League Two): Henry Staelens, Forest Green Rovers FC
CEO of the Year (SPFL): Stewart Robertson – Rangers FC
Best Club Marketing: Everton FC – More Than Eleven
Best in Football Media: NEO Studios – Take us Home: Leeds United
Best Use of Technology in Football: Liverpool FC
Sponsorship/Partnership of the Year: Leyton Orient FC & Harry Kane
Best Brand Activation – Non Premier League: Ball Street Network
Best Brand Activation – Premier League: Manchester United FC & Cadbury
Best Football Community Scheme: Albion in the Community
Best Professional Service Business Serving Football: KSS
Best Use of Technology in Football: English Football League – iFollow
Best New Player/Contract Signing Reveal Campaign: Tottenham Hotspur FC
Best Digital/Social Media Team: Motherwell FC
Innovation Award: The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and Vodafone
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme: BT & #DiscoverDisabilityFootball – Cake
Agency of the Year: LiveWire Sport
Best Business Serving Football: Little Kickers Group
Best Fan Engagement by a Club: Leicester City FC
Best Covid-19 Community Response – Non-Premier League: Dons Local Action Group with AFC Wimbledon Foundation
Best Covid-19 Community Response – Premier League: Everton FC and Everton in the Community
Financial Performance Award: St Mirren FC
To find the full list of winners, silver and bronze recipients and for more information, visit: Football Business Awards