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Football needs to learn from business warns Clarke

Thu 7th Apr 2011 | Clubs Ownership

Football League chairman, Greg Clarke, believes football needs to change if it is ever to move forward - and that it could learn a lot from the world of business.

Clarke was speaking at the SportAccord Convention in London when he said that a lot of time was taken up in his job trying to persuade clubs to “do things that they don’t want to do.”

The panel session concerned business people transferring to the world of sport and Clarke added: “Football looks backwards, it doesn’t look forward to where it needs to be. Businesses have to get better every day and football does not like changing.

“The challenge we face is changing the actual culture of football to embrace change as a good thing.”

The former Leicester City chairman also said that out of 10 Football League board directors only one who was not a white European - “In the real world that’s not much, but in football terms that is a big difference.”

The league needed more diversity in the league to represent the diversity of fans. Clarke said: “We do need more people representative of the stakeholders.”

He was also critical of directors who became too involved in trying to run the playing side of their clubs: “You don’t put personal passion into football. If you can’t get people to recognise between reason and passion then you are going to fail.”

Clarke advocating that football should learn more from the business world while conceding that the two worlds were very different and warned anybody interesting against thinking it would be easy to transfer from business to football.

He came from a non-sporting background and explained: “I love the job, the problem wasn’t them it was me. Football is very different to business and the sooner you realise that the more successful you will be.”



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