More people, playing more often



There is no better time to play football. At a time when we are constantly reminded of the value of health, fitness and wellbeing, playing regular football can bring great benefits.

The health benefits alone include aerobic capacity, cardiovascular health, lower body fat, better muscle tone, improved strength, flexibility and endurance.

Then there are the social and individual benefits, from teamwork and general social activity to stress release, confidence and self-esteem.

Playing football is fun and the flexible format of small sided football makes it one of the fastest growing and largest participation sports in the UK. Over 4 million people play regular small sided football. Shorter game times, flexible midweek activity and a format appealing to a wide mix of playing abilities give it wide demographic and social appeal. The team ethic, camaraderie and peer group influence, means small sided football is characterised by greater loyalty and engagement than most other individual sport and fitness activities.



More people playing more football and for longer in their lives

PlayFootball is a brand with a passionate aim: to get Britain playing football. We are committed to growing football participation- helping people stay active. In so doing, they will lead healthier, happier and more socially active lifestyles. We want to build relationships with partners who share our aims and understand the value of active participation.



As a brand with a passionate aim, it’s important to us to build and nurture a community of like-minded people- those who are going to make our vision a reality.

PlayFootball is rigorous in its choice of partners. They have to respect and share our passionate aim and our participation philosophy; and reinforce our premier credentials. PlayFootball are holders of the coveted FA accreditation for small-sided football brands.


Our Board


Barry Hunter - Chief Executive Officer

Barry joined The Sports & Leisure Group as CEO in January 2003. Barry is a business graduate from Aston University. He has held brand and Business Unit roles with British Airways, HJ Heinz, and adidas. Barry became the Managing Director for adidas Benelux and adidas UK and Ireland. Barry is also Chairman of a Step 6 Sussex County, charter standard football club.

Nigel Maglione - Company Secretary & Chief Financial Officer

Nigel is a qualified A.C.M.A (1982) and a graduate in Business Law. He joined Whitbread as a graduate trainee in 1979 and held a number of Financial Management positions within the group, including Financial Controller (Whitbread Hotels Division), Finance & Commercial Director (Whitbread Pizza Hut - Europe) and Systems Director (Whitbread Inns). Nigel joined The Sports & Leisure Group in 2000 as the Company Secretary & CFO.



Richard Simpson - Non Executive Chairman

Richard worked for Whitbread PLC for 30 years, initially in Senior Finance roles, becoming Finance Director for the U.K before moving into General Management as M.D of Whitbread's Restaurant Division responsible for brands such as Pizza Hut, Beefeater, Costa Coffee, TGI Fridays, Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia. Since 2000 he has held several Non-Executive Chairman/Director positions with Private Equity backed and AIM listed businesses in the Leisure/Hospitality sector. Richard became Chairman of the Sports and Leisure Group in May 2012.

Marian Holmes - Non Executive

Marian joined the CSSC in 1997 as Chief Executive on secondment from the Inland Revenue. A graduate in Mathematics from Hull University she trained as an Inspector of Taxes and has spent most of her career combining technical tax work with management of local offices. Marian represents the CSSC shareholders on the SLG board

Ray Haskell - Non Executive

Following several years in land surveying and a short period with the Civil Service, Ray joined CSSC in September 1982. In May 1985, Ray was promoted to Estate Manager, representing the CSSC on the SLG board.