Who's the greatest player of the modern era? Should a team always pass it out from the back? Or is there a time for launching it forward and hitting the target man? Has VAR improved the game? And if so, for who? The fans? The players? The billionaire owners looking to secure the last Champions League qualifying spot? There's a yes and no answer to almost every question on and off the pitch. And this is one of the great things about football. Everybody has their opinion. And as fans, friends, and rivals, we love talking about the game.
But could you imagine getting paid to talk about football? That's Maddison Taylor's dream job. And the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) graduate is well on her way to making it happen. After graduating from UCFB with a BA (Hons) in Sports Business & Broadcasting, Maddison landed a role as a Junior Production Specialist at Sky Sports. At the moment, Maddison is operating teleprompters, designing graphics, and supporting the production team. But these are all small steps toward helping Maddison achieve her main goal of becoming a Sky Sports News presenter. "My role at Sky Sports is amazing, '' says Maddison. "It's a great first job to get your foot in the door and work with incredible people...Meeting and chatting to Thierry Henry wasn't a bad day in the office!”
Journalists are an important part of the football world. They break the big stories, expose scandals and corruption, and help share the positive messages designed to make the game more accessible for everyone. Journalists also provide a crucial link between fans and their clubs. In today's digital landscape, that means mastering the art of social media and website content design.
UCFB student Chloe Streak is also a Media Executive for her hometown club, Binfield FC. Chloe runs Binfield's social media and creates content for the club website. She was live-tweeting from Wembley stadium earlier this year as her beloved Binfield FC took on Warrington Rylands in the FA Vase Final. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be Chloe's or Binfield's day. Binfield lost the game 3-2. But being part of the biggest moment in her club's history was a dream come true for Chloe. "I've been associated with the club ever since I was little," says Chloe. "Being a part of the journey to a Wembley final is just unbelievable. Binfield feels like one big family. It's amazing."
Charity, development, and social work
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death," said legendary Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly. "But I can assure you; it's much more important than that." Shankly's tongue-in-cheek quip encapsulates our passion for the game. It also highlights the power football has off the field. Football is now a major tool for fostering positive social change worldwide.
For example, the Football V Homophobia campaign is making all levels of football a safe space for everyone, regardless of their sexuality. At the same time, the Premier League's No Room For Racism initiative encourages all of us to stand up against racial prejudice.
Then there are global non-profit organizations like Right to Play. Founded in 2000, Right To Play works with schools and community-based organizations to host play-based learning football days and tournaments geared towards building life skills. It delivers programs in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
UCFB student Silje Meese is currently volunteering on Right to Play's Side by Side initiative, a transnational project that runs fundraising campaigns and footballing activities in Liverpool and several communities in Bangkok, Thailand. Silje's responsibilities include managing social media accounts, liaising with charity ambassadors, and creating campaign content. "I've followed Right to Play's work for years and share many of the same values," says Silje. "I'm so happy to be a part of this and I hope my passion and genuine interest contribute to further positive initiatives."
Football isn't just a game; it's also a business. According to professional accounting services company Deloitte, Europe's five biggest clubs generate $19 billion in revenue every year, while the total European football market is worth over $34 billion. Big money is part of the modern game, and the commercialisation of sport definitely has its downsides. The recent controversy surrounding the proposed breakaway European Super League is a perfect example.
However, it's important to stress that financing and increased revenue streams have taken football to an entirely different level. And while some people working in football marketing departments focus on selling more shirts, others use their passion and communication skills to ensure football will always be a game for the fans.
As a Marketing Assistant for West Ham United, UCFB MSc Football Communications student Lara Marinelli helps come up with new marketing strategies that combine financial growth and increased fan engagement. Lara also works in the marketing department for Women's Football Management, a consulting firm promoting women's football in Italy. "Our job is to help our clients achieve a credible and effective position in women's football," says Lara. "It's an innovative idea because, unfortunately, women's football in Italy has not yet achieved the success it deserves. So we're helping it grow."
University Campus of Football Business (UCFB)
University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) is the perfect place to kick off a career in football. Spread across a network of state-of-the-art campuses in London, Manchester, and now Miami, UCFB offers a range of ground-breaking programs tailor-made for people who want to work in football.
You can choose from undergraduate degrees in coaching and development if you want to be out on the pitch every day. Alternatively, more commercially minded football fans can get industry-recognized degrees in international football business, event management, marketing, and multimedia journalism. All courses combine classroom-based learning with practical sessions and work experience placements. Previous students have spent time at some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona and Manchester United. Others completed placements at leading football organizations, such as UEFA and the FA Women's Super League.
UCFB's Global Institute of Sport (GIS) is the leading destination for professionals looking to take their careers to the next level or make a lateral move into the sports industry. GIS runs Master's degrees in Sports Directorship, Performance Analysis in Football, Football Communications & Digital Marketing, Football Coaching, Analysis, Business & International Sport Management.
With their skills and real-world experience, UCFB graduates are in a prime position to land exciting and highly sought-after positions. Over 90% of UCFB alumni find full-time employment within six months of graduating, with almost two-thirds now working within the sports industry.
"Coming to UCFB has been one of the best decisions I've ever made," says Chloe. "For what I want to do in the future, my degree has helped me out so much, and I've only just finished the first year! For someone who is passionate about sport and wants to make a career within it, UCFB is the place to be"
Meanwhile, Maddison credits much of her career success to the time she spent at UCFB. "UCFB helped me massively,'' says Maddison. "The academic side showed me how to edit and other behind-the-camera stuff. And UCFB taught me that you've got to work so hard in this industry if you're going to stand out from everyone else. My lecturers always believed in me and pushed me to succeed. I'll always be grateful for that."
Jobs in the football industry can be as competitive as top level football itself. But UCFB is a place where you create your own chances and put yourself in the best position to land your dream role.
Article written in association with University Campus of Football Business.