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In­ter­net and Foot­ball 2018: £80m New en­try

Rob­bie Cowl­ing left school with no qual­i­fi­ca­tions but trained as a mo­tor me­chanic at a Vaux­hall garage and was later a self-em­ployed me­chanic for a cou­ple of years. In 1984 he be­came an IT pro­gram­mer and worked for nine years in var­i­ous jobs be­fore launch­ing the world’s first ‘Jobs by email ser­vice’ for job­seek­ers in May 1994. From that has grown JobServe, now a lead­ing re­cruit­ment con­sul­tancy on the in­ter­net. Cowl­ing also bought Colch­ester United Foot­ball Club in 2006, putting £4.5m into the club which was then in the Cham­pi­onship. The Us are now play­ing in League Two but are look­ing good in the early part of the 2018-19 cam­paign, stand­ing eighth after 12 games. Jobserve had a dif­fi­cult time when the re­ces­sion struck in 2008, with sev­eral years of losses. But its par­ent Aspire Me­dia has bounced back, mak­ing a record £7.2m profit on £17.7m turnover in 2017. Aside from Jobserve, it also runs sev­eral job-re­lated web­sites all over the world. JobShark.com op­er­ates in Canada, Com­put­erWork and Com­put­erJobs are North Amer­i­can op­er­a­tions and Job­net op­er­ates in Aus­tralia. Cowl­ing and his wife Ch­eryl own al­most all of it and should be worth around £80m.

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