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In Focus: Certificate In Football Business Management

Thu 31st Aug 2017 | Football Club Management

The Sports Business Institute Barcelona (SBI), the online football executive business training provider, and VSI, creators of the very first Masters in Sport Directorship programme, join forces to bring a completely new learning experience to football. fcbusiness talks to Diego Valdes and Tony Faulkner to find out more about the course.

FCB: What is the history of the course, how was it established?

Diego: We established the programme when we realised that the market lacked an industry-oriented online course in which candidates could get access to the business insight of top football executives, irrespective of their geographical location. SBI and VSI then decided to join forces to make it happen.

Tony: Through our knowledge of delivering the Masters in Sport Directorship (MSD) programme and the relationships we’ve built up in the football industry, we’ve reacted to the market to develop a programme which is based around having expert industry speakers, people who are working within football clubs across the different business departments that share their knowledge, expertise and skills around the global football industry.

What’s important is the way learning is being driven in the modern age. It’s about getting information now, today, that they can then use tomorrow to impact their performance.

FCB: So this is a good reason to link up with the expertise of SBI to deliver this online?

Tony: People travel all over the world, they work 24/7 and therefore the limitations to learning and development, gaining knowledge and being able to take an allotted time out of the work diary to go and formally educate themselves isn’t there.

The beauty of an online course means that it’s flexible and accessible. What I mean by that is – I might be chief scout who is over in France working but I’m able to log onto a laptop and engage in a live webinar from my hotel room.

There’s flexibility in that too. Instead of having to be in a set place at 2pm on a Wednesday to attend a seminar, once I’ve joined the programme and I have my own personal portal, then I can access that at any time and from any place in the world. All the learning tools are available to me. There will be recorded webinars that I can engage with at a later date.

FCB: What are the basic principles of the programme?

Diego: The programme has four pillars that have been designed to optimise the career opportunities of our candidates. The first pillar consists of live online webinars with football executives with experience working for some of the top organisations such as Manchester City, Arsenal, FC Barcelona, the PFA, plus many more. The aim is for candidates to gain insight and learn the real-life work environment of the industry. 

The second pillar consists of discussion groups and online lab sessions to encourage networking and peer-to-peer learning. 

The third pillar is a personalised mentorship programme in which all candidates are assigned a mentor and work together to map out a viable career path based on their own aspirations, and leveraging their previous skills and experience.

The fourth pillar consists of an optional face-to-face two-day corporate tour and graduation ceremony in Barcelona to culminate the learnings of the entire programme.

FCB: Who is it aimed at and how is it delivered?

Diego: The programme is aimed at those that are looking to begin, transition, or advance their career within the football industry.  It is delivered via live online webinars and complemented with online tutorials and a face-to-face graduation ceremony and experience tour in Barcelona.

To date we have already numerous professionals from across the football industry and other corporate sectors that have already signed up for the programme.

FCB: How will it help people break into, and ultimately, progress in the football industry?

Diego: There are three main elements that most candidates lack when looking to optimise their opportunities in the industry. They are real-life industry knowledge, a strong network and guidance to avoid common mistakes.

We offer students the possibility to learn from the best in the industry, build meaningful relationships, and all throughout, obtain career guidance from seasoned professionals currently working in football.

FCB: Football, as a business, is becoming ever more complex, do you think it is essential executives working in the football industry maintain their knowledge and update their skill set through continuous education?

Tony: The competitive advantage that any football club can has now is its ability to continue to learn and for that reason, irrelevant of what position you hold within the organisation, the best people are those that put themselves into an environment where they continuously update their knowledge. To be the best, one must learn from the best, hence why we collaborate with executives from the top football organisations that have relevant and updated content to share with our students.

FCB: Your institutions are based in Barcelona and Manchester, two fantastic football cities and home to some of the biggest clubs in the world. Will this help to inspire learners?

Diego: Evidently, having our hubs in two of the world’s most famous football capitals is an added bonus for learners. In fact, the graduation ceremony will be held in Barcelona at the end of the programme. The great benefit, however, is that candidates can complete the programme without having to relocate to Barcelona or Manchester.

FCB: As part of the programme students will benefit from guest lecturers from the football industry. Who can they expect to hear from?

Diego: We have put together a very solid line-up of guest lecturers for the programme that have experience working for top organisations such as FIFA, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Swansea City, Leicester City, AZ Alkmaar, APOEL, KPMG Football Benchmark among others. 

Each speaker is an expert in his/her discipline so our candidates will be able to take away valuable insight and build a network with all involved. We also have Professor Chris Brady who is the co-author of Carlo Ancelotti’s book Quiet Leadership and is the director of the Centre for Sports Business

FCB: Is the course recognised by an academic institution?

Diego: The course is industry-oriented, and as such, it is not officially affiliated to any academic body. Nevertheless, given its rich content and football industry focus, we are proud to say that it has been recognised by the Centre for Sports Business at the University of Salford.

For more information about the course or to register visit: www.sbibarcelona.com/events/postgraduate-in-football-business-management


Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk

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