Mike Forde

Former Director of Football Operations, Chelsea Football Club

Mike Forde | NMP Live

Mike Forde is one of the UK's leading sports executives and is widely recognised as a leading figure in the English Premier League — the most widely watched and competitive football league in the world — for driving innovation and creating cutting edge success methods across the high performance world.

He currently advises on building high performance cultures and talent management across a variety of global sports and teams including NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs, where he assisted them in building a performance model for sustained success.

Mike also consults closely on corporate knowledge capture along with Sir Dave Brailsford and two-time Tour de France winners Team Sky Cycling.

Between August 2007 to July 2013 he was Director of Football Operations & Executive Club Director for Chelsea Football Club in the English Premier League, responsible for all areas of performance and team operations relating to the 1st Champions League, Europa League, Premier League title and three FA Cups including player recruitment; medical; sport science; psychology and performance analysis.

Between 1999 and 2007, Mike was Performance Director for Bolton Wanderers Football Club, also in the English Premier League. He has a degree in Sport Science from Liverpool John Moores University and a Masters in Psychology and Sport from San Diego State University/Leeds Metropolitan University.

Mike also serves as a non-executive director at the Lawn Tennis Association. He has advised on High Performance Cultures and Talent Management for American football, basketball and baseball teams in the US, international rugby union, international cricket and Formula One.

In May 2012, Chelsea FC achieved their long-held goal of winning the UEFA Champions League. They won the match in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, beating the favourites Bayern Munich in their home stadium. In May 2013 Chelsea won the Europa League for the first time in their history.

Mike Forde is also co-founder of the New York & London based Talent Agency ‘FC Talent’. He is a sought-after expert in performance and talent management discussions, drawing on his elite experience to impart and develop wide ranging learning, integration and best practice in high performance cultures and practices and its practical implications and transfer to the world of business.

Speech Topics

In his keynote motivational speeches, Mike Forde draws on his vast experience in leadership, building high performance teams and talent management to deliver impactful, energetic and compelling presentations that transfer key learnings from football and the sports arena to business.

Leveraging his life experience in the world of sports management, the content of Mike’s presentations are always positioned in such a way as to be highly relevant to the theme of the client’s event, with extremely captivating examples and insights that will resonate with the audience.

• Creating a High Performance Environment
• Strategies and Mindsets for becoming a High Achiever
• Performance Under Pressure
• The Role of Talent in Creating a Powerful Organisation


Mike is a profoundly inspiring, entertaining, energetic and supremely insightful speaker/consultant. Every second Mike shared with us was packed with compelling evidence based insights into next ‘level thinking’ on being and creating high performance. His humorous and engaging ability to challenge paradigms around what innovation, creativity and performance is possible, in resource poor, rich and diverse environments, is a real ‘game changer’. The impact Mike has had on our team has been way beyond anything we anticipated

Darrell Abbondanza - VP Human Resources (UK&I) Equifax.

Mike Forde kicked off our week-long Group staff event. Every participant was thrilled with Mike’s insights of talent and performance management from the perspective of someone who does this with a world-class football team. Most importantly and much appreciated were the connections and relevance Mike made to our multibillion dollar corporate environment. These insights and connections resonated with the audience because of Mike’s style. He was well prepared, energetic and humble while displaying enormous credibility as a leading executive in the professional football community.

Michael F Andrew - Emirates Telecommunications Corporation.

We recently invited a set of customers to attend a session at Chelsea Football Club where Mike Forde, Director of Football Operations, ran an incredibly insightful and motivating session on Talent Management amongst other things. What became clear immediately was that sport and business overlap on many matters and there were key learnings and takeaways as a result. The Q&A session at the end showed a real engagement between the audience and Mike and a number of questions were related to how business leaders could implement what they learnt from the session.

Nazish Dossa - Regional Director UK & Ireland Colt Enterprise Services.

The content of the presentation was positioned in such a way as to be highly relevant to the theme of the day, with extremely captivating examples and insights provided by Mike. Mike’s presentation style and manner in which he connected with the audience was fantastic. Even for those who were non-sports enthusiasts, it was clear that he held the whole room (comprising International HR representatives from 50 major multinational organisations), captive and fully engaged throughout the one hour presentation. Mike’s communication style was extremely clear, professional and highly impactful.

Jose Segade - Director, The RES Forum Limited.

Not only did Mike Forde impress our clients and staff with his insights about talent management and performance culture. He also managed to transfer key learnings from football to business and even communication. Mike’s knowledge and authentic enthusiasm for the field of performance gives you new ways of looking at things and motivates you for change. His presentation inspired us all!

Anders Hall Grøterud - Gambit Hill+Knowlton.

Mike Forde was an excellent selection as a keynote speaker. His ability to educate an audience on the many facets of true management, whether it be of people, brands or products was a huge success with my audience of b to b companies and their marketing agencies. His presentation was a fresh approach for how to make sound, fact-based business decisions… while at the same time leveraging his life experience in the world of sports management.

Hanley Wood - VP Events & Conferences Hanley Wood Media.

To book Mike Forde, please submit an online enquiry, send us an email or speak with one of our friendly booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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Mike Forde | NMP Live
Mike Forde

Former Director of Football Operations, Chelsea Football Club

I was very pleased with the service I received from NMP Live, the agent was very helpful and professional. I will definitely look to NMP Live in the future.
Nicole Hardaker, EAIE Conference Programme Coordinator
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