Roscoe Lecture: Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE DL

Lecture Title - "Sport at the service of humanity? Or a 'superficial social alibi'?"

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Lecture Synopsis

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE DL will consider if there is genuine integrity and goodwill in the social community schemes delivered by football clubs or whether it is merely a mask to disguise the excesses of the modern game. The lecture will explore Corporate Social Responsibility as a contested concept, reflect upon the historical roles of a football club and propose Evertons official charity, Everton in the Community, as a potential evidential-model to introduce the social alibi argument and explore sport, at the service of humanity.

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE DL, Chief Executive Officer of Everton Football Club 

Everton’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, joined the Everton family as CEO of Everton in the Community in 2010, where she spearheaded the growth and transformation of the Club’s official charity into an internationally acclaimed organisation. 

Through her vision and expertise, the charity now delivers over 40 programmes, which use the power of sport to motivate, educate and inspire some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach people in our local communities, to improve their life chances. 

She was appointed as the Club’s Chief Operating Officer in October 2011 before being promoted to Deputy Chief Executive Officer in 2012. In 2016 she was appointed to Everton’s Board of Directors and, in June 2018, became the Club’s Chief Executive Officer.  

Denise’s work for the Club and charity has earned her the status as one of the Premier League’s most respected figures, which was underlined in 2014 with an MBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her appointment in September 2016 to the Board of Sport England, the national governing body for grassroots sports and a raft of award wins. 

Her exceptional commitment, service and leadership to the industry over a sustained period of time, earned Denise an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award at the Stadium Business Awards, hosted at the Nou Camp - home to FC Barcelona - in June 2015. 

At the 2017 Football Is More Conference in Switzerland – staged to shine a light on ‘outstanding social achievements of clubs, role models and charities’ – she was presented with the Lifetime Role Model award in recognition of her ‘excellent life-long commitment to a social cause’. 

Other roles away from Everton include, Deputy Lieutenant in the County of Merseyside; Chair for the 2021 Special Olympics GB Summer Games and Chair of a Transport Commission aiming to bring a new rail station to Liverpool.  

Denise has received an Honorary Visiting Professorship in Leadership from Liverpool Hope University and an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University. She is also a patron of Liverpool’s St Vincent’s School for the Blind and a fellow of Angela Hall at Liverpool Hope University.