Christian Purslow

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Christian Purslow
Born (1963-12-14) 14 December 1963 (age 56)
United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Harvard University
Known forco-founder MidOcean Partners
Former managing director of Liverpool F.C. and managing director at Chelsea F.C.

Christian Mark Cecil Purslow (born 14 December 1963) is a British businessman, co-founder of private equity firm MidOcean Partners and is the former managing director of Liverpool Football Club and the managing director and head of global commercial activities at Chelsea Football Club.[1] He is currently chief executive of Aston Villa Football Club.

Early life[edit]

Attending Aylesbury Grammar School as a boy, he went on to graduate with a degree in modern and medieval languages at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.[2] He later earned an MBA at Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar, finishing in the top 5% of his class.[3][4]


Purslow trained as an analyst with L.E.K. Consulting, before joining the Burton Group as executive assistant to the CEO. After becoming head of new business development for Reuters, he joined Credit Suisse First Boston as head of UK mergers and acquisitions. He then joined Schroders Salomon Smith Barney as head of cable, media and entertainment investment, before becoming managing director of DB Capital Partners. It was while in this position, that DB Capital Partners was spun-out, in which he became managing director of new private equity firm, MidOcean Partners.[3]

Liverpool Football Club[edit]

Purslow was appointed managing director of Liverpool Football Club in June 2009, with a priority to renegotiate the £350m loan the club had outstanding with RBS and to assume overall management of the club until a new permanent CEO could be appointed.[5][6] Three months into his tenure, a team headed by Purslow negotiated an £80 million 4-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank.[7]

On 6 October 2010, Purslow voted in favour of the sale of the club from the unpopular then-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to the NESV group. In response to this, Hicks tried to block the sale by removing Purslow and Ian Ayre from the board and installing his son, Mack, and his business associate Lori McCutcheon to the board. On 13 October 2010, at a hearing in the High Court in London, Mr Justice Floyd held that Hicks’ actions were unlawful and in breach of the agreement he had signed with RBS.[8] Floyd's judgment allowed the sale to proceed and, on 15 October 2010, NESV finally completed its £300m takeover of Liverpool in a deal which drastically reduced the club's debt to RBS.[9]

Having completed his brief by finding a buyer, Purslow stepped down on 20 October 2010 after NESV assumed control of the club.[10] He remained as a non-executive director and special adviser until February 2011.[11][12]

Following the sale Hicks and Gillett pursued legal action, however, settlement was reached in January 2013 with Hicks and Gillett withdrawing all allegations made against Purslow and fellow directors Broughton and Ayre.[13]

Chelsea Football Club[edit]

On 27 October 2014, it was announced that Purslow had joined Chelsea Football Club as "Head of Global Commercial Activities" with immediate effect.[14] Purslow oversaw a number of deals (including Yokohama,[15][16] Wipro[17] and Carabao[18][19]) and the club's £900m kit deal with Nike, a deal described by the BBC's Dan Roan as a "remarkable ... coup"[20]

It was announced on 17 February 2017 that Purslow would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the 2017–18 season.[21]

Aston Villa Football Club[edit]

On 31 August 2018, Purslow was appointed as the CEO of Aston Villa Football Club.[22]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Optima, Fitzwilliam College Newsletter Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Spring 2010 p.19
  3. ^ a b "Biography on MidOcean Partner Website".
  4. ^ "Why I Decided to Rethink Hiring Smart People". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  5. ^ Kelso, Paul (22 June 2009). "Liverpool appoint Christian Purslow as their new managing director". Independent. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Parsons, Russel (14 September 2009). "Liverpool looks to Standard Chartered to help global expansion". Marketing Week. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Liverpool takeover: High Court rule in favour of RBS and against Tom Hicks". The Daily Telegraph. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  9. ^ "New owner John W Henry determined to revive Liverpool". BBC Sport. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow quits job". BBC Sport. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  11. ^ "Christian Purslow stands down at Liverpool as John Henry starts rebuilding work". Daily Mail. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  12. ^ BBC Sport – Christian Purslow relinquishes Liverpool posts
  13. ^ "Statement from Liverpool FC". 11 January 2013. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Chelsea seal £200m shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber". The Guardian. 26 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Yokohama Rubber to become Official Shirt Partner". Chelsea FC. 26 February 2015.
  17. ^ "New digital and IT partnership launched". Chelsea F.C.
  18. ^ "Chelsea partners with Carabao". Chelsea F.C.
  19. ^ PCL., Post Publishing. "Carabao seek growth from Chelsea sponsorship". Bangkok Post.
  20. ^ "Dan Roan – Twitter". Twitter. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.[non-primary source needed]
  21. ^ "Christian Purslow moves on".
  22. ^ "Aston Villa appoint former Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow". The Guardian. 31 August 2018.