What careers are available in football clubs?

Getting a job in football is more achievable than you might think, there are a number of roles and opportunities available and you don’t need to have an ex-player on your contacts list. Football is a fast growing industry with clubs also diversifying into multiple business channels including business events, weddings, TV, concerts and other sporting events including NFL and motor sports. 

Football teams are developing and more than just a club, they are run like multinational organisations, often part of a larger group like Liverpool and Manchester City who are part of FSG and City Group. Smaller clubs also operate like business operations with a range of functions that require people to help them run effectively and there are a number of career opportunities for people both within and outside of football. 

Clubs are increasingly recruiting outside of football, the sheer number of roles that are available and types of roles means that clubs need to look beyond specific football roles. Clubs are looking for people to work within finance, operations, sales, marketing, logistics, data, catering, event management, digital and media with new jobs and roles being developed all the time. 

Working in football is a dream career for many people so regardless of the role there is likely to be a lot of competition for jobs, however there has never been a better time to find a job within football. If you would like to work within the football industry there are a whole set of new roles appearing all the time and existing career paths that you could look to follow

There are now countless non-playing positions within football clubs that are essential to their development plans. As clubs have grown as commercial enterprises, the need for personnel has increased. Professional clubs are constantly creating new roles within their businesses, many of which provide a perfect way into the industry for anyone seeking a career in football. The club staff list is no longer just a squad of players, a coach and a kit man.

Non Playing Careers in the Football Sector

There is a growing number of non playing jobs in the football sector, especially supporting the club’s various teams, for example, getting a job in football as a data or video analyst is much more achievable than you might think. 

If you have the ability to look at the statistics and see why a player is underperforming or can watch video footage and explain how it shows the attacking strengths of a team, then you have the basic skills that clubs are looking for. This is just one area that you might want to look at. 

To get a job in football analytics, you need a strong knowledge of the subject. One option is to get a university degree in the subject. There are a number of non-playing roles that require a university degree with a number of universities providing football specific degrees. 

In the UK, UCFB (University College of Football Business) has set up campuses across the country which attract students from across Europe looking to begin a career in the football industry. 

It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to get a job in football, skills acquired from your existing job or other roles can often transfer across to roles within football clubs.

You might already have enough relevant experience in business or be qualified to apply for roles in the football industry. If this is not the case, retraining and specialising in the business of football by obtaining a degree qualification is always an option that you can look into.

Arsenal FC’s Club Link Officer Brian Matovu initially graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance before realising that his passion was in sport. 

He completed a Masters in Sports Business Management at UCFB and now plays an integral role in connecting Arsenal first team players with their community. 

There are a range of jobs and career paths available within football including finance, legal, media, sales and marketing, digital development, event management, player welfare, partnership management, brand management, community partnerships and journalism. There are a number of specialised degree programmes to prepare you for a career in the football and sport industry including UFCB who have campuses in the UK at Wembley and Eithad Campus Manchester and international hubs including the Inter Miami CF Stadium. 

What do you need to apply for a job in football?

It is essential to have a profile that fits the job description. Take time to read the job description.  If you don’t yet have the skills required, take another look at the courses available and it might be that you could improve your knowledge and skills. 

Read the description carefully and don’t be put off if you feel that you don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the club or its history.  If you are applying for a role in finance, operations, events or the planning side of the business the requirements will be different and clubs are often looking for people with a background outside of football. 

The key factor is to review the application, look at the requirements and ensure that you’ve matched the requirements in your application. Check that your profile/CV and cover letter is error free and reflects your skills and experience.

Where are football jobs posted online? 

If you haven’t already started looking for jobs then it is a good idea to create your own list of job websites, you can then track where you are looking at each week. Keep an eye out for opportunities on websites such as Jobs In Football and Futbol Jobs.

Most clubs will post job opportunities on their own website so you can create your own list based on the clubs that are near where you live or that interest you. 

You can also check Twitter and LinkedIn for job opportunities, it is also a good idea to network and develop your own set of contacts who might make you aware of any jobs that come available. 

If you are ready to apply for a job then make sure that your CD/Profile is ready for applications and that your LinkedIn profile is updated (if you have one). You might be tempted to apply for every job that you see, but remember that each application takes time. Look through each job advert carefully and take time to apply for the jobs that you think you could potentially get. 

There are some incredible roles available within football and like getting a job it might take some time and effort, but if you’re prepared to work hard and learn as much as you can, it’s possible to build a career in the game. Clubs across the world, both big and small, are continuing to invest in people and expand their departments. There have never before been so many opportunities.

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