How does a professional football club works?

Professional Football clubs are unique assets, often with great visibility, attracting the interest of significantly large groups of people and audiences. As such, they are suitable to function as communication channels and media platforms; they not only convey information about the team’s achievements and activities to their fans but can also relay the messages of commercial partners and sponsors in an effective, attention-grabbing and authentic manner.

A football club can be a vehicle for countries, companies or individuals to grow their brand awareness and improve public image. For example, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City FC are often seen as ambassadors for the countries of their owners, Qatar and the UAE, respectively. Another example is AC Milan, who were owned by businessman and former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi for almost 30 years.

A Football Club Strategy

the football industry knows no difference from companies in other industries. Defining a clear strategy is crucial for clubs, as everyone at the club, from staff to players and volunteers, should have this in mind when making decisions. The first part of a club’s strategy is the vision and the mission. Defining a clear vision and mission makes it easy for those involved in the club to take decisions that are in the club’s interest.

The vision defines were the club is heading, the future achievements, and the mission defines how the club will attain this vision. Secondly, clubs set out short-term (1 year), mid-term (1-3 years) and long-term goals (>3 years). These goals are based on the vision and the mission.

Organizational Structure

An organization’s structure is the manner in which its workforce is categorized into specific job roles and responsibilities are delegated. The structure of a football club is to a great extent dependent on its goals and objectives. Most professional football clubs plying their trade across the globe are commercial entities looking to make profits.

Roles and Responsibilities in the Football Club

Board of Directors:

  • Determine policies for the football club.
  • Be responsible for the development of the club.
  • Make plans and strategies.
  • Supervise club activities and money flow.

President

  • Responsible for implementing polices.
  • Organize activities.
  • Make necessary appointments.
  • Appoint staff to perform tasks.
  • Solve problems.
  • Reporting to the board of directors regularly about club progress.
  • Set meetings.

Club Service Coordinator:

  • Maintains safe and secure environment for club members.
  • Coordinates new member inductions, orientation and involvement into the club in a timely and memorable fashion.
  • Assist president to solve problems.

Football Techniques Development

  • Assists the club with player and coach recruitment.
  • Provides league and tournament recommendations for each team based on team history and prospects.
  • support the ongoing professional development of the football grassroots coach tutors to ensure they continue to provide consistent and fit for purpose education.

Financial Director

  • Plans and supervises the budget.
  • Researchers and plans fundraising projects.
  • Work with club payroll to ensure the accuracy of payroll postings.

Financial Part

When it comes to finance, there are several aspects a club has to take care of. Clubs use the checklist to see if their finance department has some key essentials in place. First, money management or budget allocation is of crucial importance and certain people assigned to focus on the financials of the club, make decisions based on the budgets and monitor the budgets. Each department forecast their budgets for the upcoming years and report this back to the finance department, who then decides upon this.

There is no short-term view on the allocation of budgets as these can vary across years and should be in line with the club’s progress throughout the years. Second, raising funds is equally important as this is what makes up the budget. Raising money can be done in several ways but the main sources for club funds are: ticketing, food and drinks, non-matchday events, sponsorships and grants or subsidies.

Operating Expenses

  • Stadium & Facility Maintenance

Few clubs rent out stadiums while few others own stadiums (so no rent). Sometimes, clubs might choose to build new stadiums which will result in extra expenses.

  • Youth Academies

Clubs also invest in youth academies where future talent is identified and developed.

  • Marketing & Admin

They also spend on marketing campaigns (mailers, ads & events), IT systems (website, apps, ticketing systems, etc) and accounting.

  • Travel

Lastly, since the players are always on the road for matches, travel expenses can add up to be a major expense for clubs.

All the departments are intricately linked in such a football club and work closely to produce the best results for the club both on and off the pitch. In modern day football, succeeding on the pitch needs to be complemented by substantial efforts in building a brand off it. And that is why it is important to have an efficient organizational structure in place.

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