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Credited with creating a merchandising revolution in English football, Edward Freedman is widely seen as Europe’s pre-eminent expert in football branding. In a career spanning 30 years, Edward has acquired an encyclopaedic knowledge of sport and entertainment brand extension. He regularly speaks at conferences, contributes to newspapers and has recently been the subject of a BBC documentary “The men that changed football”.

Expertise summary : Brand creation and development, retail and wholesale network expertise, product development and licensing.

Career history : 1997 to date :

Since leaving Manchester United, Edward has overseen many merchandising success stories, including the Spice Girls, with whom he broke all sales records for pop band merchandise. Edward advised a number of European football clubs, such as AS Roma, where he transformed the operation and presided over the opening of a city centre store, Athletic Club Bilbao and Shakhtar Donetsk.

1992-1997 :

Managing Director, Manchester United Merchandising.

Hailed by Martin Edwards as the club’s most important signing of 1992, Edward transformed the merchandising operation, taking it from turnover of £1.2 million to £28 million in five years. Edward dramatically expanded the domestic retail operation and created de novo domestic wholesale, mail order, publishing and international networks. Under Edward’s leadership, Manchester United became the most powerful brand in world football.

1987-1992 :

Managing Director, Merchandising Division, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

When Edward left Tottenham in 1992, the club’s merchandising turnover was the highest in England and 50% above that of Manchester United. During his career at the club, Edward overhauled the retail operational structure, reviewed licensing, strengthened branding. Edward’s other responsibilities included the overview of subsidiary companies and the sale of Hummell Distributorship (Denmark) and Martex Textile Company (Hong Kong).

Prior to his departure for Manchester United, Edward was offered a position on the Tottenham Hotspur board of directors.

1975-1987 :

Managing Director, Retail Division, Intercity Investments plc.
Ran the retail division of a public company.

Extracurricular interests : Executive Director of the Wiener Institute, avid tennis player.


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