My Background

I was born in Birkenhead, England, in 1985. I grew up in a football family, playing from an early age, being one of the first players to represent Glenavon JFC and attending my first Everton Football Club match at the age of 2. Today I’m an active researcher and senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.


My Academic Credentials

I received my PhD in sport science from Liverpool John Moores University in 2014 and have taught at Liverpool John Moores University, Abertay University Dundee, the University of Derby and Leeds Beckett University from 2006 until 2015. Since then, I have been a senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University actively leading and involved in a number of research projects covering three key areas:

  • Management; including the Sporting Director, CSR, change, partnerships, leadership governance, culture, economic networks and networks
  • Policy & Politics; notably the impact of austerity driven policy measures and inequality
  • Social change; at an individual, community and organisational level

I am a keen advocate of action research and my strengths reside in qualitative research, specifically ethnography, observations, interviews, focus groups, write and draw techniques and surveys. I am also fascinated by social network analysis and have a developing interest and engagement with the method.

I am also the Research Director of Connect Sport, a network that serves to raise awareness of and participation in community sport, and I help organise The Football Collective, a platform to share and engage in critical debate around football, both with my colleague Dr Paul Widdop.


I conduct research with a number of professional football clubs in England and key strategic stakeholders in football (and sport), including the Football League Trust, the English Premier League, the Street Football Association (previously, English Homeless FA), International Olympic Committee and the Football Foundation (the UKs largest sports charity).

This work concerns research with participants across the lifespan (including “hard-to-reach” groups), and extends to coaches, managers, sporting directors, chief executives, funders, policy makers, corporate funders and other stakeholders.


I have led a number of interventions including those based within the Everton Active Family Centre (a unique centre based at Goodison Park the home of Everton Football Club), completed the national evaluation of the Extra Time programme, alongside the completion of a further three national evaluations concerning school sport, coach education and sustainable community facility investment.


To bring this together, I am interested in utilising various communication methods to share and raise the awareness of the findings of my own and others research to the general public (individuals, families, communities, organisations, commissioners and policy makers). Which supports my role with the fabulous International Public Engagement and Performance Conference!

Contact details:

t: 0161-247-3858 m: +44(0)7538500348 e:  t: @parnell_daniel 

Member: The Football Collective | Research Director: ConnectSport 

Blog | Linkedin | | ResearchGate | MMU

YouTube: Manchester: a global centre for sport 

YouTube: The Football Collective


All my publications appear in academiaedu profile found here or on this site here.