The CAFE Trustees are pleased to confirm that Olivier Jarosz has been named as the permanent Chief Executive Officer of the organisation following a period as Interim CEO.

Olivier initially joined CAFE in April 2023, and has been working to create a development plan and implement CAFE’s new strategy for future growth.

Previously Olivier was in charge of the R&D efforts at the European Club Association (ECA) for over 10 years, masterminding several innovative and industry-leading publications related to Club Management, Youth Academies and Women’s Club Analysis.

Olivier is also co-author of the pioneering Club Management Guide, that aims to define all the structural components of a football club from a forensic perspective, Olivier created a successful knowledge-sharing platform, the Club Management Programme, the first ever tailor-made executive programme covering professional football club needs for the top management of clubs.

Speaking on his appointment as permanent CEO, Olivier said, “I am extremely grateful for the trust placed in me by the CAFE Trustees and the team. We are united in our beliefs and shared goals, and I am proud to be able to play my part in ensuring that the world’s most popular game is accessible and welcoming for all disabled people”.

“We have a wealth of experience and expertise within the team at CAFE, and we look forward to supporting stakeholders across the game in improving access to live football for all”, added Olivier.

To support Olivier as permanent CEO, CAFE has appointed Michael Rice as the organisation’s new Operations Manager.

Michael is a familiar face to many across the industry, having joined CAFE in 2011 and serving as Media and Communications Manager since 2015. Michael has also managed the annual CAFE Week of Action since its inception in 2013, and leads our award-winning audio-descriptive commentary (ADC) network and training programme.

In his new role, Michael will oversee the day-to-day workings of the CAFE team and ensure that CAFE’s works continue to be aligned with our standards and principles. He will work with the leadership team to define the strategic direction of the organisation and continue to lead CAFE’s communications strategy, ADC works and the CAFE Week of Action.

Michael said, “I am delighted to take on this new role and would like to thank the CAFE Trustees and Olivier for their support and belief in me. I have spent over a decade working to ensure that CAFE best represents the interests of over one billion disabled people living globally, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to contribute further across all areas of our organisation”.

CAFE also recently welcomed Hollie Wilson and Rijul Sharda to the team.

Hollie is a Socio-economic and Human Rights research graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University, and joins CAFE as our new Research Officer. She has previously worked and has volunteered with numerous charities and NGOs within both research and administration, and has experience of working within equality and wider inclusion around women’s rights and services for refugees.

Upon joining CAFE, Hollie said, “It is a great privilege to join the CAFE team at this exciting time for the organisation. Through my role as Research Officer, I am keen to develop best practice requirements, review national and international legislation and explore areas such as non-visible disabilities. I am also supporting our Erasmus+ project on good governance, and look forward to meeting many of our partners, supporters and advocates”.

Rijul joins CAFE in a new role as our Partnership and Development Officer. Rijul has worked in the sports industry across Asia and Europe, and is a Masters graduate in Advanced Studies in Sports Administration and Technology of the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS). Rijul has worked on several international sports events including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India and numerous volleyball, ice hockey, archery and cricket competitions.

Rijul said, “I am honoured to join the CAFE team and I am excited to play my part in ensuring the best possible experiences for disabled people through live sport. I am a firm believer in developing strong partnerships, and mutual cooperation is vital to bring about wider change across our society. I look forward to working with our existing partners and exploring new opportunities for development that will benefit so many disabled people”.

Amy Wilson will remain as CAFE’s Fans Liaison, Access and Administration Officer, serving as a direct contact point for disabled fans enquiries and leading on our expert stadium access appraisal programme.

We recently said goodbye to two long-serving members of the team, as Joanna Deagle and Isobel Robins departed CAFE to take new opportunities outside of the organisation.

Joanna joined CAFE in 2014, and had been Managing Director since 2016, whilst Isobel joined us in 2019 as our Research Officer.

Operations Manager Michael Rice said, “We wish both Jo and Izi the very best with their future careers. They have not only been wonderful colleagues, but also became great friends and we all look forward to following their future successes”.

CEO Olivier Jarosz added, “I would like to thank Jo and Izi for all of their invaluable contributions to CAFE over many years, and the support that they gave to me when I joined the organisation. I am sure that they will both be hugely successful with the next stages of their careers, and they leave us with the very best wishes of the entire team”.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Michael on his promotion, which comes following many years of tireless service to CAFE, and welcome both Hollie and Rijul to the team. We are currently drafting a series of support tools for stakeholders to expedite change and inclusion, and there are exciting plans in place for the future”, added Olivier.

To find out more about the CAFE team, please visit our staff profiles page.

Published 15/8/2023