UEFA has launched a programme in which it is helping its member national associations become familiar with commercial operations at matches, which they apply in their own domestic football.
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UEFA is sharing important knowledge and expertise with its 54member national associations over a variety of areas in European football, thanks especially to the European body’s innovative Knowledge and Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), personal development and Top Executive (TEP) programmes. The aim is to raise overall standards within the game across the continent.
The latest programme launched is helping the national associations to become familiar with commercial operations at football matches, and the first module has taken place at the University of Neuchâtel in western Switzerland, with 17 national associations selected by UEFA taking part.
In recent years, UEFA has gathered a comprehensive body of experience in event organisation, and the commercial operations programme follows a request from the European associations for practice-oriented training to satisfy a growing need in this area. The new programme is focusing in particular on the wealth of expertise collected by UEFA over the years at matches in its blue-riband club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
"Through this programme, the national associations will become familiar with the procedures and standards used by UEFA for commercial operations at Champions League and Europa League matches," said UEFA's national associations director Theodore Theodoridis.
"The national associations will be provided with a platform of practical documentation and experience, ideas and knowledge that they can apply to the matches they organise – national team matches, cup matches and possibly championship matches."
The Neuchatel session was one of five modules that will take place over the coming months. In this first module, the participants made themselves familiar with the commercial operations that take place at a football match. The second module in August will see the participants separated into smaller groups and take part in a simulated pre-season site visit to a stadium – with the help of experienced tutors, they will find out in particular about the requirements for a stadium to host a UEFA club competition match.
Under the third and fourth modules, in September and December, each participant will shadow people responsible for commercial operations at a UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League match, and will see the checklists and documents that need to be prepared for these events.
They will watch and observe commercial operations at one club competition match – in essence, watching theory and knowledge they have acquired being put into practice. Finally, the last module sees participants complete their training by completing an online assessment to test the knowledge they have gained, and how they plan to improve or have improved at their own association as a result of the training.
The aim of the programme is obviously to not make each match played in Europe a UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League match as such, but to give associations an invaluable organisational benchmark which will help them adapt and improve for matches where the association is responsible. And, as always and in line with its overall vision, such crucial support by UEFA for its national associations is designed to nurture the overall well-being of football in Europe.