Britain's first postgraduate students in football are about to graduate from Liverpool University.
Fourteen students will graduate with an MBA (Football Industries) on Monday. The course, taught by staff from the university's Football Research Unit, headed by Rogan Taylor and the Institute of Public Administration and Management, reflects the increasingly business-orientated world of professional football.
Claire Draycott, one of the first MBAs to graduate and a research assistant, said that the course gives people the expertise in everything from the financial management of football clubs, including stock market flotations, to the management of merchandising operations and media relations, including the economics of broadcasting and associated sponsorship arrangements.
There are also modules on the globalisation of football, which take into account growing markets such as the United States and China.
Ms Draycott, who is pursuing an academic career and will focus her PhD on the history of soccer in the US, said: "It prepares people to take up jobs in clubs or in bodies such as the Football Association or Federation of International Football Associations.
"We have people from around the world graduating, and they will return home to become the only people in their countries to hold such professional qualifications."
This year's graduates are planning to take on this year's MBA students on Sunday in a friendly game of football.