Andy Pilley: who is the millionaire businessman behind the rise of Fleetwood Town FC and how did he make his fortune?

Football boss Andy Pilley has become one of the most high profile businessmen on the Fylde coast.
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He is best known as the owner and chairman of Fleetwood Town FC, a football club he dramatically transformed from a minor non league outfit with the barest of facilities to a club comfortably holding its own in League One, based in a fine modern football stadium. The club enjoyed five promotions in eight extraordinary years and has developed a community trust which is active in many ways across Fleetwood and Wyre.

Outside football, he is known as the boss of a number of businesses which sell energy supply contracts, dealing in both gas and electricity, under the umbrella name Business Energy Supplies (BES).

Who is Andy Pilley?

Fleetwood Town chairman and businessman Andy PilleyFleetwood Town chairman and businessman Andy Pilley
Fleetwood Town chairman and businessman Andy Pilley
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The 52 year old businessman lives in Thornton and grew up in the Anchorsholme area of Cleveleys. In 2011 the businessman, then a father of three, married Gemma Caton in a lavish civil ceremony at Highbury Stadium.

As a young man he was taken on by energy firm Enron but the business collapsed and he was left unemployed. He then founded his own utilities brokerage business, BES (Business Energy Solutions), spotting an opportunity during the deregulation in the UK energy market.

In February 2005, a gas supply licence was approved for Business Energy Solutions Ltd and a gas shipper licence granted by Ofgem three years later. The following year, an electricity licence was granted for BES Commercial Electricity Ltd in 2009, with both companies now form the BES Utilities group).

Since then, the companies have seen significant growth, and they are now one of the largest employers on the Fylde coast, with over 200 staff based at their Head Office in Fleetwood. Mr Pilley is also the managing director of independent utility sales agency network Commercial Power as well as Card Saver for BES Metering Services, The Leisure Channel, and Breck Apartments Blackpool. He is currently on trial at Preston Crown Court, accused of fraud. The trial was this week adjourned after one of the defendants fell ill.

How did Andy Pilley make his fortune?

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It is through his energy businesses that Mr Pilley has made his fortune, but although he is said to be a millionaire, various sources have offered differing sums as to the extent of that fortune. Apart from buying Fleetwood Town in 2004, he also owns Waterford FC in the Republic of Ireland, which he purchased in August 2022, and Fleetwood United, a club he set up in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, winning promotion in their first season. The businessman is currently facing a fraud trial at Preston Crown Court in relation to allegations of mis-selling of energy contracts.