It's a career of two halves

June 9, 2006

Students may be celebrating finishing their final exams in time to follow the England football team's fortunes in the World Cup over the next month, but they might spare a thought for 20 former footballing greats who will instead be busy studying to become the next generation of managers.

The new intake for Warwick Business School's certificate in applied management includes the likes of former England players Les Ferdinand, Paul Ince and Steve Hodge.

The course kicked off on Monday with a week of intensive work. Study will continue through the tournament, taking a year to complete.

A spokesman for the business school joked: "I'm sure they will only look up momentarily from their studies to check the latest score. Likewise, we will all carry out our respective duties and study in a diligent manner, only pausing briefly to inquire about the latest test cricket score.

"The course is like a modular MBA. It recognises that people have a job, a life -and football to watch," he added.

The certificate is designed to hone the business and personal management skills of future football managers, including dealing with the media, project management and organising finances.

The Professional Footballers' Association, the League Managers' Association and the Football Association commissioned the course to provide a complementary qualification to the FA's mandatory Uefa Pro Licence.

The course is designed to develop the management skills of professional footballers who are in or who want to take on football management roles.

Sue Bridgewater, programme director, said: "There is no one style of successful football manager. We are not trying to build a 'designer football manager', nor could we if we tried. It is crucial in today's environment, though, that managers can motivate players on the pitch and have a toolkit of management skills to help them with all aspects of the job."

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, said those considering a career in football management need high-quality management training to cope with the high-profile nature of the industry.

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