Andrew Pilley

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Andy Pilley
Andy Pilley.jpg
Andy Pilley in May 2014, when Fleetwood Town FC won promotion to League One via the play-offs.
Born
Andrew James Pilley

26 May 1970 (1970-05-26) (age 52)
Blackpool, England, UK
NationalityEnglish
OccupationChairman, businessman, entrepreneur, director
Board member ofChairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club
February 2004 – present
Websitehttp://www.andypilleycom

Andrew James 'Andy' Pilley (born 26 May 1970) He is the current chairman and owner of English football League One club Fleetwood Town F.C. and Waterford F.C., the chairman of independent commercial utility group, BES Utilities,[1] and Managing Director of independent utility sales agency network, Commercial Power, as well as Card Saver, BES Metering Services, The Leisure Channel, and Breck Apartments Blackpool.

Background[edit]

He became self-employed in 2001 due to the demise of the large energy company Enron, which left him unemployed. As a result of this, he started his own utilities brokerage business from his spare bedroom. [2]

Fleetwood Town Football Club[edit]

In 2004, he was offered the chance to become involved in Fleetwood Town Football Club. Since becoming owner, Pilley has invested in excess of ten million pounds into the club.[3] His financial support has seen the complete renovation of Highbury Stadium, including the construction of its centre piece, the Parkside Stand, which first opened to spectators in March 2011. This 2,000 capacity seated stand offers executive boxes and a large hospitality area which plays an important role in providing income streams for the club both on matchdays and non-match days.[4] Both the Parkside and Memorial Stands are also home to the BES group of companies, with office spaces built into the stands.[5]

Poolfoot Farm Sports & Leisure Complex[edit]

On 20 April 2016, Poolfoot Farm was officially unveiled by Sir Alex Ferguson.[6]

Fleetwood Town International Football Academy[edit]

In May 2019, Fleetwood Town Football Club announced the launch of its own International Football Academy – FTIFA.[7] Based at Poolfoot Farm, the academy is open to aspiring players from around the world, and through a series of four, 12 and 24-week residential courses, FTIFA provides the opportunity to train within a professional football club environment and share the same facilities as all the club’s professional and academy teams. Players receive expert UEFA-qualified coaching and bespoke training programmes tailored to their individual skills and development needs, as well as the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of scouts representing clubs in the UK and abroad.

Business Energy Solutions (BES Utilities)[edit]

2002: Business Energy Solutions[edit]

Following the deregulation of the UK energy market, having spotted a gap in the market which enabled him to target naive business start-ups or movers who often struggle to secure energy contracts larger suppliers due to their credit profile, Andy set up his gas brokerage business, Business Energy Solutions Ltd, and his sister Michelle Davidson joined him 18 months later.

2005: Gas supply licence granted[edit]

In February 2005, a gas supply licence was approved for Business Energy Solutions Ltd.

2008: Gas shipper licence approved[edit]

After receiving a licence from Ofgem, BES Utilities became a licensed gas shipper in March 2008.[8]

2009: Electricity licence granted[edit]

A lack of diligence by energy regulator OFGEM enabled Andy to acquire an electricity supply licence for BES Commercial Electricity Ltd in 2009 (both companies now form the BES Utilities group). Since then, the companies have seen significant growth and they are now one of the largest employers on the Fylde coast, with over 200 staff based at its Head Office in Fleetwood, Lancashire.[9]

2014: Shortlisted for top industry awards[edit]

BES Utilities was shortlisted for the Treating Customers Fairly Award in The Utilities & Telecoms Awards 2014.

2018: South Africa expansion[edit]

In 2018, as part of its expansion plans, BES created a new team based in Cape Town, South Africa.  The team in Cape Town now handles all first line customer contact relating to general service issues, change of tenancies and debt collection.[10]

2019: BES Utilities win £600m contract[edit]

BES Utilities won a major contract with ESPO, one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations, which is worth an estimated £600m over two years and will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.[11][12]

BES Utilities Legal Action[edit]

In January 2018, BES Utilities settled a High Court case against two men, in which the company had alleged that they had made false claims about the company for three years.[9][10]

Following the hearing, in the High Court at Manchester, the defendants were issued with court orders containing penal notices. They gave undertakings to the court to cease their behaviour and remove any published reference to BES, its directors, employees, agents and representatives.   If the men fail to comply with the order they may be held in contempt of court and could be fined or imprisoned. The court also ordered that if the defendants breach the undertakings, they will be required to pay £250,000 towards BES’s substantial legal costs.

Both defendants signed the following statement: “We withdraw any allegation of fraud or dishonesty against Business Energy Solutions Limited and BES Commercial Electricity Limited, their directors, officers, agents, legal advisers and other professional representatives.”   

Should Andy and those facing similar charges be found guilty following the outcome of the on-going trial, the allegations made by the two men against BES Utilities may prove not to be false.

Criminal Investigation and Fraud Charges[edit]

In September 2021 after 5-year fraud investigation, Pilley was charged with multiple fraud charges in relation to his running of BES Utilities. Fraud charges included two counts of running a business with the intention of defrauding creditors or others by allowing the fraudulent mis-selling of energy supply contracts, allowing fraudulent mis-selling by sales representatives, and being concerned with the retention of criminal property.[13]

The criminal trial is currently taking place as of October 2022 at Preston Crown Court.

OFGEM Investigation[edit]

BES Utilities were investigated by Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), who found that BES failed to explain in sufficient detail customer contract details and, in some cases, wrongly blocked 108 customers from switching suppliers. The Ofgem investigation resulted in a fine of £2.00, with an agreed redress package of circa £980,000 paid by BES by way of a charitable donation to a debt advice charity and via compensation payments to a number of affected customers. [14]===OFGEM Investigation===

Smart Choice Metering Ltd[edit]

In 2019, Andy announced the launch of his own specialist metering services division[15] following the acquisition of Liverpool-based metering, asset and management company, Access Install. All 80 existing jobs were protected, and there will be a further seven-figure investment in the next 12 months. The acquisition strengthens his companies' smart meter offering as the government aims to install more than 53 million smart meters in homes and businesses by the end of 2025, this includes a partnership with energy supplier Green.[16]

Commercial Power Ltd[edit]

Formed in 2005, Commercial Power is one of the biggest and most established gas and electricity aggregator in the UK, having helped over 300,000 commercial businesses make savings on their gas and electricity bills.[17]

Card Saver Ltd[edit]

Formed in August 2014[18] by Andy and Michelle Davidson, Card Saver is one of the UK’s fastest-growing and award-winning card payment processing providers, helping businesses accept secure card payments in-store, online or over the phone. Card Saver rated amongst the top 10 payment providers in the UK, and in 2018 received the ISO of the Year award from Optomany.[19]

Breck Apartments Blackpool[edit]

Opened by Andy in 2016,[20] Breck Apartments offers luxury boutique apartments situated in the heart of Blackpool. Comprising six one and two-bedroom apartments overlooking the beach along Blackpool’s famous coastline, Breck Apartments are proud to offer five-star service and attention to detail.[21]

Charity, Community & Sponsorship[edit]

Fleetwood Town Community Trust[edit]

In 2012, Pilley and fellow trustees founded the Fleetwood Town Community Trust, an independent, registered charity working in partnership with Fleetwood Town Football Club.[22] The Trust is an active community project that aims to provide socially inclusive community, health and education engagement programmes within its local community.

Trinity Hospice[edit]

Andy is a supporter of Trinity Hospice. In Summer 2013, BES Utilities supported the Trinity Hospice Corporate Challenge,[23] and more recently, Card Saver has donated merchant service terminals to Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice enabling members of the public to donate by card rather than having to look for loose change.[24]

Tackling Bullying in Schools[edit]

In February 2019 it was announced[25] that Andy and FTFC would pledge £10,000 to help tackle bullying in schools by supporting a ground-breaking training programme headed up by local Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach, Norry Ascroft. Following on from the success earlier in the year Andy, along with BES Utilities[26] and Card Saver,[27] pledged a further £20,000 to the MADD About Bullying programme, supporting over 300 schools in the North West directly.

Providing free and at-cost electricity for Blackpool Illuminations[edit]

BES Utilities sponsored Blackpool illuminations, providing free electricity in 2014 and half price electricity in 2015. Their sponsorship was worth in excess of £100,000 over two years – the biggest donation to the Lights in more than a decade.[28]

[edit]

Fleetwood Town FC, BES Utilities and Card Saver all sponsor local professional boxer Brian 'The Lion' Rose.[29] As well as providing sponsorship, Andy has given Brian full use of the state-of-the-art facilities at Poolfoot Farm, along with access to coaches and physios.

Maintaining East Pines Park[edit]

In 2018, Andy and Fleetwood Town FC partnered with East Pines Park, and offered to maintain their football pitches. The pitches were often completely out of use due to poor drainage, and after playing football at East Pines Park as youngster, Andy decided to step in and help. Following extensive improvement work and maintenance by the grounds team from Fleetwood Town, the pitch now plays host to a variety of community football sessions for youngsters as well as weekly walking football sessions for older players.[30]

Support for Amputee Footballers[edit]

The story of local young footballer, Jamie Oakey, who was born with one foot inspired Andy to support England’s next generation of amputee players. Jamie, who was named in the England Amputee FA’s under-23 squad, is also part of a group of junior players hoping to take part in an international training camp in Hoffenheim, Germany, in July. To get there the young amputees and their families needed to raise £5,000, so Andy decided to provide financial support for the Germany training camp as well as giving the England squad free use of the Cod Army’s Poolfoot Farm training base whenever they needed it.[31]

More[edit]

  • Sponsor of Thornton Christmas Lights[32]
  • Creation of the BES Fund to support businesses struggling with energy or other debts[33]
  • Funder of national charity, Business Debtline[34]

Political views[edit]

Pilley endorsed the Conservative Party in the 2019 United Kingdom general election.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BES Utilities welcomes new Managing Director". BES Utilities. 2 November 2016. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Ten years after Enron". Real Business. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Why Fleetwood are thriving". BBC Sport. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Fleetwood Town FC unveils new stand". Place North West. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Growing firm set to create 40 new jobs". Blackpool Gazette. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Sir Alex Ferguson to open Fleetwood Town's new training facility". BBC Sport. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Fleetwood go global with groundbreaking football academy". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Business Energy Solutions Limited - Notice of grant of a gas shipper licence". Ofgem. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  9. ^ "BES Commercial Electricity Limited - Notice of grant of electricity supply licence". Ofgem. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Africa expansion 'won't put local BES Utilities jobs at risk' says owner Andy Pilley". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  11. ^ "BES Utilities secures £600m contract to supply public sector". Utility Week. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  12. ^ "BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs". BES Utilities. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  13. ^ Whitear, Sam (20 September 2021). "Fleetwood Town boss Andy Pilley denies charges of fraud at Preston Crown Court". Business Lancashire. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Ofgem investigation in 2015". Ofgem.
  15. ^ "SMART CHOICE METERING LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  16. ^ Whitear, Sam (28 July 2020). "Shaping a smarter future with a Green partnership ⋆ Business Lancashire". Business Lancashire. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  17. ^ "COMMERCIAL POWER LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Our Story". Card Saver Ltd. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Proud winners of "ISO of the ... - Card Saver Office Photo". Glassdoor. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  20. ^ "BRECK APARTMENTS LLP - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Five out of five for Poulton apartments". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  22. ^ "FTFC Community Trust". Fleetwood Town Community Trust. 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  23. ^ "BES Utilities Supports Corporate Challenge at Trinity Hospice". BES Utilities. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Fleetwood Town owner Andy Pilley's big gift to help swell charity coffers". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Andy Pilley pledges £10,000 to help tackle bullying in schools". www.fleetwoodtownfc.com. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  26. ^ "BES Utilities and Card Saver pledge £20,000 to help tackle bullying in schools". BES Utilities. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  27. ^ "BES Utilities and Card Saver pledge £20,000 to help tackle bullying in schools". Card Saver Ltd. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  28. ^ "New Illuminations for 2015". The Blackpool Illuminations. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Blackpool boxer Brian Rose ready to write thrilling last chapter in long-awaited comeback". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Football club chairman pitches in to help young footballers at a Blackpool park". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  31. ^ "Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley helps amputee footballer Jamie Oakey to fulfil his England dream". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Fleetwood Town chairman gives £1,000 for 1,000 lights to light up Thornton". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  33. ^ "BES' Managing Director, Andy Pilley, to attend Downing Street reception". BES Utilities. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Fylde coast firm launches fund to ease businesses' debt". www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Cod Army Chairman backs Conservative campaign". Fleetwood Town FC. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2022.

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