Building Contemporary Football Management


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Football, as the economic powerhouse of the sports industry, has rapidly moved away from its roots as an amateur undertaking in the spirit of the Olympics. It has become a branch of commerce with tradeable resources. As participants in the global sports industry, the football clubs need more well-educated players, supporters, financial resources, and sports facilities. In a highly competitive environment, the sustainability of clubs and their ability to acquire all the necessary resources depends more and more on having a proper management and organizational structure.

It has become clear that football organizations must incorporate best-practice management
models from the business world, where production factors are managed in a strategically planned and quality-focused systematic way.

After the 1990s, changes in the football world helped to rapidly develop and grow the economy of football. The development of digital broadcasting opened up more commercial opportunities, leading the football industry to build a more commercial structure. With the effect of those changes, commercial incomes, sponsor revenues, stadium and facilities incomes, and betting incomes have increased over time. This rapid change also brings several problems that threaten the sustainability of football in the long term.

To protect against these threats and ensure football’s viability, UEFA published club licensing and fair play criteria, the so-called UEFA Criteria. These criteria cover sports and labor (players’ development); youth system and playing environment (providing a safe and well-equipped facilities to players, spectators, and press); financial criteria and capital (the audit and control of financial statements); personnel, administrative, and enterprise criteria (having proper management and organizational levels); and legal criteria that underline the legal requirements for football organizations and the work they do.

The UEFA criteria can be used as a road map for football clubs to build and reform their organizations into professional, sustainable businesses. In describing what is necessary for compliance, the UEFA criteria also map out what is needed for effective club management, including comprehensive organizational structure and management guidelines that cover all the necessary factors of production in a systematic and effective way.

Football clubs are founded for a purpose, and they play an important role in the development of football players. However, few resources are available to those responsible for organizing, developing, and managing club sports.

This book is intended to address the complex fundamentals of management for all clubs, whether they are a large multi-age-level organization with a large budget or a local club with limited resources. Unlike most books written for sport club managers, this book extends beyond the coaching level to recognize the obligations of high-level leaders and managers.

Furthermore, club managers will get the latest information on creating a unique club culture and how to meet the management, player development, marketing, communication, administrative and financial control needs of the organization.

This out-of-the-ordinary guide explains to readers how to run a club in today’s demanding, highly competitive and high-tech environment, establish its brand, and bring in the revenue required to ensure long-term success. Those who manage and lead clubs will find that they can improve on their business plans and implement their club’s mission more successfully, by possessing the instruments to develop and sustain organizations that are financially healthy and that satisfy the needs of footballers and those who support them.

Put simply, this book looks at how UEFA criteria and modern management principles can help professional football teams achieve sporting success through effective and efficiently.