Last week in Zurich, Switzerland the first-ever FIFA organized courses in football leadership (FIFA Diploma in Club Management) ended. Together with 32 other participants, we had a graduate with a diploma of our own – Valmiera FC president ULDIS PŪCĪTIS:
”In the beginning, it was planned that there would be 26 participants, however, the number rose to 32 – those were representatives from different countries, football organizations, and clubs. There were 400 applicants who were sifted through questionnaires and interviews on the Zoom platform.
In the words of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the goal of such an event was to make football global and to help clubs from all around the world to develop and to become self-sufficient. Well-known lecturers from well-known clubs and organizations for example Arsene Wenger, Fabio Capello, Miguel Angel Gil Marin (Athletico Madrid) Monchi (Sevilla FC), Peter Moore (Liverpool FC), Ivan Gazidis (AC Milan), Raul Sanllehi (Zaragoza, Arsenal, FC Barcelona), Rasmus Ankersen (Brentford F.C), Ferran Soriano (Man City, FC Barcelona), Magda Poco (Udinese, Watford FC) as well as many other known and experienced specialists.
With all the lecturers in debates, you could ask any questions you needed answers to. They also left us their contact information so that we could continue communicating. The content of the course was very rich. It doesn’t matter how big some clubs might be, or how many millions they might have, in general, they all are trying to solve the same exact problems that we are solving here at Valmiera FC. It’s just that they are doing it at a different level. I gained the experience that I have to take their examples and implement them in my club. There was a lot to take in. Together with me, there were club representatives from South American countries, Japan, the USA, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, and of course also Europe. Some famous former players are now functionaries. The contacts that I gained in the future could open up internship options in one of the clubs in these countries.
The accent that we will focus on even more in our club is the work with our clients – the fans. We will look at how we can involve them even more, how to make our product more interesting here in Latvia and then at the international level. When you have earned so many contacts from across the globe, then it is easier to find new players or to sell the current ones that are playing for the team. There are things that we don’t even think of on daily basis but when communicating with these people, your eyes are open and you notice things or ideas that you can implement.
The courses happened once a month and in total took 13 months. The diploma is in my hand and now I can use my knowledge to prove that even with much smaller resources you can realize similar things that the big clubs already have.”
According to the vision of FIFA to make the sport of football truly global, the club leadership diploma is a part of FIFA’s attempt to the professionalization of football, allowing a bigger number of clubs from each region to compete at the highest level – on the pitch and off.