The Murky World of Football Ownership

Pioneering tomorrow's leaders in sport

VSI’s 2018 Sporting Directors’ summit, run in partnership with Downtown in Business and FC Business, is coming home to Manchester where delegates from around the world will debate the murky world of football club ownership!

The event marks the launch of the company’s ground-breaking MBA for Chief Executives in Sport, a programme that will be taught in collaboration with the Centre for Sport Business at the University of Salford.

A cohort of 20 leaders from the world of business and sport will study for a qualification that was designed in response to industry demand for a new generation of highly qualified Chief Executives to manage the unique 21st century global challenges of franchises and national governing bodies.

VSI founded the widely acclaimed MSc in Sporting Directorship and their latest cohort will join the MBA students and guest speakers for a no holds barred evening, on September 11th 2018, getting to grips with one of the biggest challenges currently facing football.

Leading football academic Professor Chris Brady said: “There is barely a day that goes by without speculation around the future of at least one club or another; be it the relatively recent change in the ownership and new business model at Wolves, the even more recent takeover at Aston Villa or the hedge fund ownerships at Roma and AC Milan.

“These and other models such as Manchester City’s global branding approach will also have an enormous effect upon the internal governance of the various clubs and on those governed.

“The days of local businessmen owning clubs, now valued in the billions, are long since gone and have already been replaced by oligarchs, US sports business owners, government backed funds and multi-million-pound trusts. Where to next?”

And it is the “where to next?” that represents such a challenge for VSI’s gathering of industry professionals.

Sport franchises have typically been viewed as intrinsic part of local communities with national governing bodies supporting that dynamic.

VSI Chairman, Andy McIntyre, fears for the future of that key relationship. He said: “The German fan ownership model, for instance, is advocated by many and seen as something of a solution, but there are big question marks around it.

“We will have expert speakers and delegates who are central to this debate and it really is an evening not to be missed.”

Demand is such that VSI and have been forced to make it an invitation only occasion.

McIntyre added: “The summit is now viewed as being a major bonus for VSI’s various cohorts as they get an opportunity to network and debate with fellow key strategic leaders in sport.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Downtown in Business and FC Business magazine for this project.

“Downtown in Business is widely recognised as THE mouthpiece for the business communities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

“Their Chief Executive, Frank McKenna, is instrumental in aligning those entrepreneurs with key political players in both Westminster and local government.”

Mckenna said: “Sport is critical to the economies of these wonderful cities and all stake holders have a vested interest in their success. Better educated leaders in sport must surely help protect against repeat of what has happened at Leeds United and Aston Villa in recent years.

“They are great clubs spectacularly damaged by reckless owners and weak leadership.”

VSI is thrilled that FC Business magazine has aligned itself to the summit with McIntyre saying: “It is the go-to read on all that is important in the business of football. There isn’t a CEO in the country who doesn’t make it a staple part of their monthly information gathering.

“Their team are bound to make a big contribution to the night’s debate.”

For more information on the VSI Executive Education Programmes in Sport contact:
Tel: 0345 459 9765
Twitter: @MasterSportDir