At a time when associations are facing more challenges than ever, UEFA is providing important advice for finance directors across Europe.
Article top media content
This edited article is adapted from the original published in UEFA Direct – read the full article now
At a time when member associations’ finances are facing more challenges and adjustments than ever, UEFA has staged an Executive Finance Essentials course, as well as holding meetings for national association finance directors across Europe.
Through the UEFA Grow business development programme, European football’s governing body has worked closely with national associations to provide senior leaders with a better understanding of financial figures and reporting – of particular important given the need for informed strategic decision-making in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The plan is not that you have to be finance experts at the end of this seminar – it is more important that you know the basics and especially that you have an understanding of the key points to look out for in your national associations’ financial statements and planning in order to ask the right questions,” said UEFA’s finance director, Josef Koller, as he addressed executives during the first of three interactive lunchtime seminars.
A solid grounding
Around 150 people from across Europe’s 55 associations were offered an introduction to finance, annual financial reports and auditing, featuring case studies from Portugal and the Czech Republic.
Seminar two addressed the topics of financing a strategy, budgeting and forecasting, while the third and final session examined financial risk assessment and contemporary financial challenges for national associations.
Reflecting on the significance of the series, Josef Koller said: “Finance is a key area in any kind of business organisation, so I am pleased to see so many members of national associations interested in building a solid grounding in the fundamentals of finance, which will support them in building up their skills to find the facts behind the figures and make more informed financial decisions.”
Networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities
In tandem with the Executive Finance Essentials course, UEFA Grow also held a number of regional finance director meetings. These represent an opportunity to get to know other finance directors and to become more involved in UEFA’s strategic planning. For UEFA’s Grow team, it is a chance to understand better the current financial situation in each country and the particular challenges that the pandemic has brought in different regions.
Meeting agendas included assessing the financial profile of each association involved and discussing the effects of COVID-19 and the actions put in place in response.
The mission of UEFA Grow is both to lead and to support the growth of football throughout Europe. This is achieved by using fact-based research, market intelligence and industry experts to build strategic plans for developing the game.
The programme focuses on providing tailored assistance to each national association through a series of workshops, strategy development and additional follow-up support.
All of UEFA Grow's pillars are intrinsically linked. If an association has a good reputation in its respective country, more people are likely to play, attend or watch the sport. Ultimately this could lead to increased revenue possibilities and digital engagement opportunities.