Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Football misc’ Category

Transfer Window

“If I say so myself, for a fledgling agency, the calibre of players exceeds our expectations. We have an abundance of goalkeepers, young and with international caps. I blame this on both Russ and myself who both have sons that have played in nets.

Today at a National League North fixture. The UK is our natural heartland through the levels of the football pyramid. Our overseas expertise and talent comes from Turkey, Romania and this year Bulgaria. We have access to seasoned professionals and young players from South America. A striker from Poland. And Russ has unearthed two New Zealand internationals which are available now.

All I would say is that I encourage any Clubs to make enquiries. It costs nothing but time to make an initial enquiry to Ballon.”


A Summers Day

Read this post by County faithful, Jamie Summers, and thought it to be a  nice synopsis of current days.  Long may they exist! Reproduced with kind permission.

“My shot of Stockport County’s following at Altrincham today – well over 1,500 away fans at a sixth tier fixture. It’s been a difficult decade for County – a football club emasculated by administration, financial mismanagement and off-field ineptitude and/or amateurism; but, after a fallow period in regional football, there’s a growing feeling that this is a club heading once again in the right direction. Today’s 1-0 victory was County’s sixth win in seven games, during which time they’ve conceded only twice. It was also their fourth victory over Altrincham this season without conceding against them – and Altrincham are a good side at this level. The Hatters start 2019 sat 3rd in the National League North, and with a squad and management team which has a bond and understanding with the supporter base like no other in the last ten years. Perhaps this really is their season. Either way, it’s a football club which has started to get its mojo back.”

Sports Education – Top Down

As an educationalist, I’m always keen to learn about new programmes offered to prospective students – be they under-graduate or post -graduate or experienced from the ‘university of life’ in sports. My own University, Manchester Metropolitan University, has made great strides with excellent students, the outcome from such degrees as sports marketing and sports management, where I teach. The Masters in Sports Directorship (MSD) delivered in conjunction with VSi has been an extension, doing ‘exactly as it says on the tin’ preparing executives for roles as sporting directors.

This Week from my Company’s, ACROBAT FCSM, work in Salford we have been observing the creation of another ground breaking offering, the first ever, MSc, quasi-MBA, for aspirational or established CEOs in sports and leisure industries by University of Salford.

To share more, we have been given permission to replicate, an article written by VSi on this latest offering:

“This is a pioneeering first with an MBA level programme designed for elite leaders with aspirations to become a Chief Executive in the world of sport.

Managing eye-watering exponential financial growth, increasing corporate governance responsibilities and the demands of challenging club owners and Chairmen has resulted in the skills of a CEO becoming more important than ever.

Recruitment agents are acutely aware that candidates for the CEO role, in any sport, will operate under intense media scrutiny and must be able to hit the ground running with little time afforded to those from outside the industry who may need many months adapting to the fundamentals of the job.

“VSi understand the industry of sport and executive education. Armed with this knowledge they can truly innovate and be the market leaders in executive sports education. Following on from the success of their sporting directors course it’s genuinely exciting that they’re creating a high level programme to develop CEO’s”

Darren Simmons, Managing Director, Executives in Sport

VSi set about delivering the sort of education through its Masters Degree In Sporting Directorship that would satisfy the recruitment market’s demands. Four cohorts of elite athletes, coaches and managers have already studied on the VSi programmes which was taught initially in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and subsequently with the Centre for Sport Business located at the heart of Manchester’s hi-tech Media City.

Leading academics including Professor Chris Brady and Professor Simon Chadwick along with industry experts have helped catapult the program’s status and secured industry wide recognition as a must have qualification for those seeking to secure key leadership positions around sporting operations.

VSi’s Tony Faulkner reaffirms this by stating that : “Sport is now recognising the absolute need to adopt formal corporate structuring with talented, highly educated individuals in all the key leadership positions. The Chief Executive is at the top of the tree and the market is demanding that this individual must have knowledge and skills bespoke to sport.”

“VSi has been working over the last 12 months with leading academics and industry professionals to create this pioneering MBA for Chief Executives in sport. Our passion has always been to provide a pathway for current and former athletes into executive roles within sport. Marrying their experiences of competitive sport with an educational grounding in business is our purpose” . 

Professor Chris Brady who is the academic lead for the programme (pictured above with Cristiano Ronaldo) states: “During my years of interviewing CEOs from major corporations, SMEs, sporting organisations and even military leaders the one common lament was that “there’s no school for CEOs”. They realise that they are often thrust into a leadership position without any preparation for the role. They would probably have welcomed the existence of such a course.”

To learn more about the CEO education programmes contact:

Funding and scholarships may be available.

Pesky Ruskies

A terminology of disdain used in the past to describe the malignment or Russian hindrance or perpetration of ills.  In the current political warfare, the events of Salisbury 2018 portray a whole different light on inter-continental relationships.  Far be it from Ed. to claim to be ‘in the know’ with what’s going on, but an enlightened commentator could list doping, hooliganism, e-crime and alleged rigging of votes as some evidence to suggest not all is at is seems with the former USSR.

Earlier in S’PORT we have described the suggested State approved troubles in he Euros 2016, witnessed first hand by yours truly. This short ramble is one of debating ‘stay or go’ to the Finals.  The frequently referred political football that is association football or indeed sports as a whole raises its head again.  This time in discussing whether the National Team, that is England should frequent the World Cup.

With or without us it will still run and with possible slight knocks to marketing collateral or discretionary spend by those brave Brits that seek to face those Russian challenges (the Independent said: “Western governments warn of a range of hazards awaiting the unwitting football fan”) – the impact on the Country, in contrast to sanctions, will be minimal.

It seems that the England and FA hierarchy may leave decisions on opting in or opting out with the players.  The main losers it seems to me will be the supporters deprived of watching their Home team in what should be an Event which is often the pinnacle of the beautiful game.

Forecasts suggest that “FIFA set to make $5 billion World Cup sales target despite Italy, US absences”. But sponsorship sales have stumbled.  FIFA’s cash-cow of the World Cup Final is being hit harder than most.  The catalyst though hardly just Rusky in origin, but a result of the tarnished image of the Governing Body.

So should I stay or should I go now?  The latest advice from FCO states: “due to heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia, you should be aware of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment at this time; you’re advised to remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and avoid commenting publically on political developments.”  So County fans, you need to be somewhat anonymous and certainly don’t sing Arthur Brownlow too fiercely – though no doubt his ‘pork pie hat’ could be photo-shopped to blend in  (note from Ed. topical issue!).

The poll by media giants, Sky, has asked on whether attendance is prudent. Some surveys suggest a third of us say boycott.  Are these all football fans, I suspect not.  I’d favour going and whipping the World’s best in the Russian back yard.  Though realistically, will this happen.  I’ve had too many false dawns!

Apparently, “Stephen Kinnock MP has suggested in parliament that Theresa May should ask FIFA to postpone the World Cup until next year”.  Really, as if that’s going to happen!  We know we are not that great Nation, we were once were, in the footballing World or World at all.  Brexit doesn’t help matters (sorry, I shouldn’t climb back on my soap box!).  But we are all entitled to opinions – and I think as a spectacle and motivation, hopefully with longevity into the latter stages of World Cup 2018, England should show up.  There are two thirds that support this from that earlier Survey of 2,000.   That’s my view, admittedly from a long distance away in more ways than one.

But my major concerns are the safety and well-being of our supporters and Team entering hostile territory.  Stay safe boys and girls! What do you think?