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Posts from the ‘Football misc’ Category

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?




Pub Team – not Stoke!

Shaw Lane Association gives the usual excitement, as a so called minnow enters the first round of the FA Cup proper. A former pub team, part financed by a local plumbing business, are currently third in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, and defeated Conference side Barrow in the last Round. The result, a home tie is granted, against Mansfield Town – a fixture relatively local that they will be delighted by.

Read more at:

Just caught my attention with the usual quip from our former striker, about Stoke City FC being likened to a pub team.

Legends of the Game #1

Why not give an aspiring young person a chance?  I listened attentively as Zach recited story after story of players from bygone days and thought he deserved a platform to share just a few.  I hope that there are more Zach?

“By Zach Vaughan

As a teenage boy I eat, sleep, breathe and continually speak about Football. If I am not playing, I am on the Xbox, watching a game or researching statistics on-line.

In this introductory article, I want to discuss and highlight the ‘Forgotten Legends of the Game’- players whose careers are outstanding, but are no longer recognised as the exceptional players that they once were.

The first forgotten legend is a Brazilian goalkeeper by the name of Rogério Ceni. He may not be the most iconic Brazilian keeper, but he is one of the best to come from Brazil, for he had scored a whopping 131 goals from penalties and set pieces, the best record for a keeper in the world and having over 500 app for São Paulo. His international record is nowhere near his club record with only 16 app and one goal. Now let’s move onto his trophy cabinet. Ceni won major trophies including three Brazilian leagues and two Copa Libertadores as well as the 2002 World cup and 1997 Confederates cup.

The second forgotten legend is Clyde Best for he was one of the first black players in the English top flight. Best played for West Ham where he was a fans favourite scoring 47 goals in 186 appearances. Best was originally from Bermuda and then moved to the NASL (North American Soccer League) where he would play for Tampa Bay Rowdies and where he won the NASL title in a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers in the Soccer Bowl. Best scored 22 times for the Rowdies. Best also won the indoor title with the Rowdies as well as being named MVP of the tournament and top scorer of the short season with 11 goals and 6 assists. Best later played for Portland Timbers scoring 40 times, Toronto Blizzard scoring 5, Cleveland Force scoring 33, Los Angeles Lazers scoring 29 and very late in his career at Feyenoord scoring 3.

Both Rogério Ceni and Clyde Best deserve the title ‘Forgotten Legend’. Ceni is still the highest scoring goal keeper ever and Clyde Best broke down racial barriers in the English top flight and latter in his career made a positive input on NASL.”