The Secret History of the Premier League

The Secret History of the Premier League

Wednesday 13th October 2010 at 6pm

Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London), Medawar Building, Malet Place, (off Torrington Place)
London WC1
(For directions please see the pdf map).

Given by:  Alex Fynn

In this presentation Alex Fynn, the well-known football industry consultant and media commentator revisits the birth of England’s Premier League (PL), now regarded by many as the most commercially successful club league in the world. Speaking with the authority of a true insider present at the birth of the PL, as someone who was intimately involved in the detailed behind-the-scenes discussions that led to its formation, Alex assesses to what extent the PL has truly met the objectives set for it back in 1992. First outlining the many successes of the League Alex will then also analyse the strategic mistakes and missed opportunities, and explore the intrigues that have sometimes bedevilled its relationship with other key stakeholders in football. Critically Alex will pose the following key questions:

        1. Has the Premier League’s very success destabilised English football to the detriment of the lower professional leagues, the grassroots, and the England national team?
        2. And if it has, what, if anything, can be done to rebalance the PL’s relationship with English football’s other stakeholders and so lay the ground for a renaissance in all the parts of the English game as England approach the final stages of the FIFA World Cup 2018 bid process.



        Alex Fynn is a well-known consultant to the football industry who has also written extensively on the subject of the football business. His clients have included Arsenal, Celtic, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur football teams, as well as the Football League and the Football Association. Through his work he has been influential in the formation of both the English Premier League and the UEFA European Champions League. Previously Alex was a director of the well-known advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, latterly as vice-chairman. Throughout his career Alex has acted as an advisor on the negotiation of the sale of TV broadcasting rights for clients such as the Football League and the FA, the latter which led to the award of the first BSkyB television contract. He has advised a number of clubs and federations on media and marketing; including the sale of broadcasting rights by the Polish FA, Galatasaray of Turkey and most recently by Celtic, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham and West Ham.

        In view of the interest shown in this lecture – please see the reference to the event in theThe Guardian newspaper – it is important that you RSVP, if possible,



                          • Horrie, C. & Clarke, C. (2002). Premiership: the Uncut History of the Premier League. London: Pocket Books.
                          • Fynn, (2008). “The 22-Headed Monster”. In: Davies, C. (Ed.). Forgive Us Our Press Passes: An Anthology of Modern Football Writing. London: Football Writers Association/Know the Score Books.
                          • Fynn, A. & Guest, L. (1994). Out of Time: Why Football Isn’t Working. London: Simon & Schuster.
                          • Conn, D. (2004). The Beautiful Game? Searching for the Soul of Football Yellow Jersey Press
                          • Conn, D. (1997). The Football Business: Fair Game in the ’90s?. Edinburgh: Mainstream.

        For further details on this seminar series contact:

        Sean Hamil
        Department of Management
        Birkbeck College
        Malet Street
        WC1E 7HX

        Tel: 020-7631 6763

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