Planning for a Life After Football

danielle carter 3

ENGLAND and Arsenal striker Danielle Carter is a long way off hanging up her boots but is already planning for a life after football and there are no limits to her ambitions!

The 25-year-old is studying on VSI Executive Education’s MBA programme designed for high flyers with ambitions to become a Chief Executive in a major sporting organisation.

A glittering medal laden playing career has been temporarily interrupted by surgery on her ACL but typically she is combining a gruelling rehabilitation regime with hours of intense study.

She revealed: “Many players prepare for the future by taking their coaching licences but that is not for me.

“I am really interested in the business of sport and would love ultimately to become a chief executive of a major club. You can’t do that without the relevant knowledge and experience.

“Studying alongside very senior and often older people from different sports has been really tough but a great learning curve.”

Women and BAME communities remain woefully underrepresented in coaching and management positions in sport and the situation is even worse at senior executive level where the boardroom remains, with one or two notable exceptions, the preserve of men in blazers.

Carter chooses her words with the care and precision of a FTSE 100 hundred CEO when she articulates her thoughts on diversity in general but in business leadership in general.

“Leaders can drive change and only once we have a diverse range of people sitting as Chief Executives in sports organisations will we really see that change.

“It is really important that we help get bright ambitious athletes from all backgrounds on programmes like the MBA that I am studying on. This sort of education can help change the profile of the next generation of leaders.”

VSI Executive Education also founded the world’s first Masters’ Degree in Sporting Directorship that was later upgraded to the internationally recognised MSc.

The new head of English cricket, Ashley Giles, was among the first to graduate. His coaching career had hit an all-time low after being overlooked for a permanent senior position with the national team. He combined spells at Lancashire and Warwickshire before securing the position as the most powerful leader in the men’s game.

Carter confirmed: “I have heard lots of good things about the sporting director programme and anything that helps athletes transition to significant senior positions has to be good.”

She was appointed to the FA Council just two days before the Association were hauled in front of Parliament to explain their handling of the Eni Aluko scandal and as such contributes to the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board.

And Carter believes it is “slowly but surely” becoming more diverse but recognises that there is still some distance to go.

“It’s not just a case of overnight you are going to change the whole dynamic of football. Hopefully that diversity will reflect in board appointments.”

Reassuringly Carter is insistent that the fight equality of opportunity in football doesn’t just rest with minorities. She says: “There are a lot of intelligent, smart people (on the FA Inclusion Board) who can see the bigger picture who are white.

“It is not just a case of black people trying to implement change”

VSI co-founder Tony Faulkner is passionate about the company’s responsibility in helping this cultural change. He said: “Education opens people’s minds and is critical in facilitating real change and this is every bit the case in sport as in wider society.

“Sport has allowed so many talented people to drift away once their playing career ends because in too many cases athletes don’t conform to the traditional profile of a senior leader or company director.

“In fairness, governing bodies across the industry have really supported our programmes and none more so than the PFA. It will not be long before the likes of Danielle are sitting in the highest leadership positions, playing pivotal roles in driving the industry through exciting but challenging times.”

For more information on the VSI MBA CEO of a Sports Organisation contact:



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