Certificate in Football Management flies high

2017 was another hugely successful year for the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM), with eight national courses held across Europe.

UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) edition in Poland
UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) edition in Poland ©PZPN

Building on an already hugely successful 2016, national CFMs got under way in no fewer than eight UEFA member associations in 2017, including, for the first time, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Poland, Romania and Turkey. England, Finland and France were the other associations involved.

The CFM is based on a blended-learning approach containing online modules and three face-to-face seminars in the host countries. The French course was the first to kick off in 2017, with the initial face-to-face seminar taking place in Paris in January. The courses in Turkey and England followed not long after, with the first face-to-face seminars at the Riva facility of the Turkish Football Federation and St George's Park in England respectively. Then it was the turn of newcomers Romania, Israel and FYR Macedonia to showcase their credentials, before Finland and Poland got their courses under way.

A range of speakers took part in different seminars last year, including academic experts, UEFA representatives and top national association leaders. Among those who provided an insight into the workings of their national associations were Florence Hardouin (chief executive of the French Football Federation and a member of the UEFA Executive Committee), Timo Huttunen (deputy general secretary of the Football Association of Finland) and Servet Yardimci (first vice-president of the Turkish Football Federation and a member of the UEFA Executive Committee).

Over 700 graduates
More than 40 participants from 24 non-hosting countries around Europe enrolled for different national CFM courses in 2017, showing the continuing interest of UEFA member associations to actively invest in the personal development of their staff. While improving their knowledge and skills, the CFM also provides participants with an opportunity to network and share their ideas.

Staff from clubs and from other football associations and organisations have taken part in the course since it began back in 2010. To date, 55 countries – not all of them in Europe – have been represented and the CFM currently boasts a grand total of more than 700 graduates, the majority (over 500) from UEFA member associations.

As the CFM continues to go from strength to strength, new national courses will be added to the list during 2018 (Latvia, Wales, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece and the Netherlands, in chronological order), with many more participants passing through its doors. For more information about the CFM, consult the dedicated page under the education section on UEFA.com or contact the education team directly at universities@uefa.ch.

New programme
The new UEFA Diploma in Football Leadership and Management (DFLM) was launched following the success of the national CFM courses and increased demand from UEFA member associations and their staff for additional educational programmes.

Building on the knowledge gained in the CFM, the DFLM focuses on developing the soft and hard skills needed to succeed in an influential role in European football. Moreover, the project-based learning approach, in which participants develop a project connected with their national association's strategy, ensures hands-on practical experience. The programme is run by UEFA in collaboration with leading academic experts and the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) based at the University of Lausanne. Successful graduates will receive a diploma of advanced studies (DAS) from IDHEAP worth 30 ECTS points, which are acknowledged by all European universities.

The programme lasts a year, with each module and seminar focusing on integral components of football management:
• project conceptualisation
• project planning and presentation
• negotiation
• leadership

Designed as a blended-learning programme, the DFLM comprises online modules and face-to-face seminars in Switzerland. The online modules enable participants to access the content anywhere and at any time to study without it conflicting with their work commitments.

The knowledge acquired, the networking opportunities and the projects developed will not only further the participants’ education and skills, but, in the long run, benefit their national associations as well.

What is in the CFM?
The UEFA Certificate in Football Management is organised as a collaboration between UEFA and the hosting associations. The certificate is issued through the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) at the University of Lausanne and is worth ten ECTS Credits acknowledged by all European universities. Each nine-month course comprises six mandatory and two optional online modules. Each module focuses on one important aspect of the management of a football association:
• the organisation of world football
• strategic and performance management
• operational management
• football marketing and sponsorship
• communications, the media and public relations
• event and volunteer management
• stadium management (optional)
• marketing operations (optional)

Essential reading

UEFA has published the third edition of the Handbook of Football Association Management to support the online modules of the Certificate in Football Management and the course as a whole.

The handbook – the first to be devoted to football association management – is an excellent reference work for CFM participants as well as a means for UEFA to make the content of the course available to a wider audience.

After an introduction to football association management by co-editors Professor Jean-Loup Chappelet, PhD, IDHEAP, and Dawn Aquilina, PhD, IDHEAP, the book contains chapters on: The Organisation of World Football by Sean Hamil, Birkbeck College, University of London; Strategic Management of a National Football Association by Professor Mikkel Draebye, SDA Brocconi; Operational Management of a National Football Association by Professor Antonio Davila, IESE Business School in Barcelona; Football Marketing and Sponsorship by Professor Simon Chadwick, University of Salford; Communication, the Media and Public Relations by Professor Raymond Boyle, University of Glasgow; and Event and Volunteer Management by Professor Alain Ferrand, University of Poitiers. Copies of the book, which costs €40 and is published in English only, can be requested from universities@uefa.ch.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 177