Raj Athwal is the longest-serving Asian in British football having spent 25 years at the sharp end of the industry. He was the first British-born Asian to become a commercial director of an English professional football club (under the chairmanship of the late Graham Taylor at Watford).
His wide-ranging knowledge of football has been accrued with time at Glasgow Rangers, Watford, Coventry City, Accrington Stanley, Port Vale and Burton Albion. This means he has worked at every level of the professional game in England as well as at one of the two biggest clubs in Scotland.
Raj was the winner of the Asian Business Sporting Award 2012/13 at the inaugural National Asian Football Awards held at Wembley Stadium and in 2018 published his critically-acclaimed memoirs: A British Raj – My Life in Football Behind Closed Doors.
He has been responsible for generating millions of pounds in revenue – from stand naming rights via front-of -shirt sponsorships to all the many commercial partnerships that are needed at every football club.
Raj was a member of the Executive Board which facilitated the move from Highfield Road to the £116m Ricoh Arena and was part of the turnaround team when Glasgow Rangers was liquidated with the primary role of creating a strategy to generate sustainable revenue. He sourced and negotiated the 32 Red front-of-shirt sponsorship at Glasgow Rangers in 2014.
Away from work, he is a regular guest on local BBC radio breakfast shows discussing current affairs and is a public speaker at universities and colleges in the UK.