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Mark Palios

Mark Palios (born 9 November 1952 in Liverpool) is an English chartered accountant, onetime Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, football administrator and former professional footballer of Greek descent. He studied Psychology at Manchester University. In August 2014 it was announced that he and his wife Nicola were taking ownership of Tranmere Rovers F.C., where he had once been a player.

Mark Palios
Personal information
Full name Markos Palios
Date of birth (1952-11-09) 9 November 1952 (age 65)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1980 Tranmere Rovers 190 (25)
1980–1983 Crewe Alexandra 118 (23)
1983–1985 Tranmere Rovers 59 (7)
1985–1986 Southport
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Playing careerEdit

Palios played in the Football League as a midfielder for Tranmere Rovers for 9 years and Crewe Alexandra for 3 years.[1] In the latter part of his career he played as captain in the European Cup-Winners' Cup for Welsh club Bangor City.[2] In total he made over 400 League appearances and continued playing non-league football for many years after his professional retirement.[3] Whilst playing in a friendly amateur game in 2001 Palios was elbowed in the chest and suffered a double cardiac arrest,[4] but recovered and went on to resume playing football until the age of 58.

Career post-retirementEdit

Unusually for a footballer, Palios was permitted by his clubs to pursue a career as an accountant, whilst remaining a professional player. He developed a successful career as a chartered accountant with Arthur Young and ultimately became a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in business turnaround.[5] In 2003, he was voted Turnaround Financier of the Year by the Turnaround Finance Group, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award. He then changed direction, resigning from PwC to become the Football Association's Chief Executive in July 2003, where he sought to apply his business skills in the field of sports governance.[2] One of his priority tasks was to stabilise The FA's perilous financial situation, by resolving the financing of the Wembley Stadium project.[6] He saved The FA from having to borrow a further $230 million, which would have put the whole organisation into financial jeopardy.[7][8] Other successes at The FA included the successful overhaul of the disciplinary process, which resulted in speedier hearings and lower costs.[9] Palios was not frightened to take tough decisions including a decision to ban Rio Ferdinand from the England team to play against Turkey in a crucial European Championship qualifier in 2004, for failing to take a drugs test [9] despite widespread pressure from the remainder of the team, who threatened to go on strike [10] but ultimately backed down.

Palios resigned in August 2004 following media revelations around his brief relationship with a Football Association secretary, Faria Alam, who subsequently went on to have an affair with the England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Although a single man at the time of his relationship and strongly maintaining that he had done nothing wrong, he resigned in order to protect his 5 children from the huge media attention that accompanied the revelations of Alam.[11][12] Many senior FA members regretted his decision to resign and have described him as being "the best FA CEO in recent years" and having "...the focused approach and financial skills to sort out the blazers and...excellent interpersonal skills".[13] He then returned to work as a consultant in the business-turnaround sphere and until January 2009 was a non-executive director of AdEPT Telecom.[14] He was a non-executive director of the British Judo Association until 2016[15] and a member of the Audit Committee at Surrey County Cricket Club[16], and has a particular interest in sports governance.

Since 2009, Palios has been appearing regularly on television and radio as a commentator on a wide range of sports related issues including football finances, premiership salaries, the England team's performance in the 2010 World Cup [17] and England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup.[18] Palios married Nicola in 2009 and they live on the Wirral.

On 11 August 2014, it was announced that Palios and his wife Nicola were taking a controlling interest in Tranmere Rovers F.C., from outgoing chairman Peter Johnson. Mark Palios would become Executive Chairman of the club, with Nicola as Vice-Chairman, and Johnson becoming Honorary President.[19][20]

In July 2018, it was announced that Palios has teamed up with MP Justin Madders to open the pitches at Vauxhall Motors sports and social club. The project has received a £541,413 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund.[21]


  1. ^ "Mark Palios". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Glenn (16 May 2003). "Palios the trouble-shooter steps into the FA minefield". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Warshaw, Andrew (22 August 2003). "Palios prepared for tough job". Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Zea, Adriana (2 April 2003). "Profile: Footballer-turned-accountant Mark Palios". Accountancy Age. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Johnson, William (9 January 2004). "Praise for Palios as FA see brighter future". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  7. ^ (
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^,19528,12016_2290473,00.html
  11. ^ "Exit Palios the enforcer". BBC Sport. 1 August 2004. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  12. ^ Harris, Nick; Burt, Jason (2 August 2004). "Palios the first to go as Svengate thrusts FA into worst ever crisis". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  13. ^ [Independent, "The Bitter Divisions that brought down Watmore" 24/3/2010]
  14. ^ "Fin Director & Broker change". AdEPT Telecom. 9 January 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "Mark PALIOS - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2018-08-03. 
  16. ^ "Tranmere Rovers sold to Mark Palios and wife Nicola". Retrieved 2018-08-03. 
  17. ^ "Palios hails Capello extension". Sky Sports. 
  18. ^ "2018 chief dubs BBC 'unpatriotic'". BBC News. 17 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "Mark Palios: Tranmere taken over by ex-FA chief and wife", BBC News, 11 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014
  20. ^ "Tranmere Rovers Football Club Delighted To Announce New Owners", TRFC, 11 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014
  21. ^ Norbury, David (2018-07-23). "Ellesmere Port gains new state of the art football pitches". chesterchronicle. Retrieved 2018-08-03. 

External linksEdit

  • Mark Palios at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database