Working in football can be an excellent way to earn a living, particularly if you are passionate about the sport.
The game tends to attract people who have a shared passion, which is not always the case in other sectors.
The business of football has changed massively in the last 30 years, with developments in media and stadiums providing the perfect platform for growth and diversity in careers for football fans.
The passion of fans has also had a major impact on the sport, with people demanding a far higher level of interaction with their favourite players and teams than was previously the case.
Leaders in other industries have now latched onto the benefits of hiring professionals from the football industry, as they tend to be hard-working, thrive in high-pressure situations and work well with other staff members.
The unsociable hours undertaken by people in the industry can be off-putting, but the financial rewards and job satisfaction far outweigh the sacrifices you need to make.
Read on to find out more about some of the best jobs in football.
Football offers a plethora of opportunities to work as a journalist. Whether you want to find a job writing about the sport or work on the broadcast side of things, there are numerous ways for people to get involved in the world’s greatest game.
Undertaking a sports journalism degree provides a perfect platform to progress into the industry in digital media, print newspapers or magazines and television or radio broadcasts.
Most programmes also offer internship opportunities to experience a variety of potential workplaces, find out which you are most interested in and potentially secure future employment.
Besides being comfortable conducting interviews, modern football journalists must also possess multi-media skills such as editing audio and video.
This allows them to work across numerous mediums, including print, digital and broadcast, thus opening more doors than if they had focused on just one single area of the industry.
Football journalism is a massively competitive sector to break into. It is crucial to create your own content while building yourself as a brand.
Build a loyal following on social media and gather as many contacts as you possibly can. Get a leg up in the game by writing for a football blog here.
Advancements in technology have helped to transform the way that football clubs and organisations promote themselves in the 21st century.
Digital marketing is now all the rage, and undertaking an associated degree in this area is a great way to gain the skills you need to work in football.
One of the key elements of digital marketing is social media, with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram playing an integral role in modern football.
Clubs and organisations across all levels have dedicated individuals or teams managing these channels, which are generally the first port of call for football fans.
Anyone securing a job of this nature effectively becomes ‘the organisation’s voice, shaping how it is perceived in the public domain.
Content marketing also plays a key role, providing those in the football industry with the tools to build their brand and engage with supporters.
Many people who work in digital marketing in football progress into key communication roles further up the ladder, highlighting its appeal from a career perspective.
Digital Content Producer
Digital content producers serve as an extension of the marketing function in football, supplying the communications team with the tools to do their jobs effectively.
The role requires people who can shoot and produce video content for website and social channels and deliver creative and compelling motion packages.
All of the content must be of high editorial quality and remain consistent with the brand and style guidelines laid down by the club or organisation.
A digital content producer will also liaise with the marketing team to find new ways of reaching audiences through interactivity, live output and social media.
The ability to create engaging multi-format, multi-platform content is essential, along with the talent to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
Comprehensive knowledge of digital tools such as Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop is essential, in addition to a desire to keep abreast of the latest trends in digital content.
Working as a digital content producer provides huge job satisfaction as you see the impact the fruits of your labour has on the club or organisation.
Analysing data to improve performance has become a hugely important part of football.
Clubs monitor a vast range of statistics to improve their operations by utilising various collection methods to monitor and enhance player performance.
Clubs worldwide now employ data analysts, sports scientists, nutritionists and researchers who are tasked with improving every aspect of player performance. Much like journalism, obtaining a degree in a relevant field can be a great route into football.
Over the past few years we have become used to data analysis in football – numbers and percentages relating to shots on goal, distance covered, tackles won and many other areas are monitored to give clubs a competitive edge over their rivals.
With the help of cameras and wearable tech, players can now be monitored on the pitch and in training so that formations, fatigue, heart rate and acceleration can all be tracked precisely.
Anything statistically calculable can be collated and analysed to establish the skill or failure of a particular player.
Football scouts have been used by clubs for decades and still have a key role to play despite the emergence of data analysts.
With no specific route into scouting, it generally pays to have had a background in football as a player, coach or elsewhere behind the scenes.
However, if you haven’t been lucky enough to work in the industry previously, the Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA) offers football scouting courses.
This includes an informative range of talent identification and opposition analysis modules – to help hone the skills required to be a scout.
The role places demands on your time, with scouts required to be willing to work unsociable hours and cover large regions.
There are generally two types of scouts – talent and tactical. Talent scouts search for potential new signings, while tactical scouts analyse future opponents.
Salaries can vary widely for football scouts, with jobs at top-end Premier League clubs paying more than £100,000 per year.
Administrators are responsible for carrying out tasks across a wide range of functions within sports clubs and organisations.
For instance, you could be focusing your efforts on marketing, fundraising, purchasing or general administration tasks.
Alternatively, you may be responsible for organising and scheduling events, managing budgets or overseeing the recruitment and training of staff.
Opportunities to work as an administrator in football are available in clubs (amateur and professional), governance bodies and education, and you will essentially be responsible for making sure everything is run efficiently and cost-effectively.
Employers will require candidates to have a strong degree in any discipline. However, a recognised qualification in sports administration, business management, sports development or marketing is the common preference of most organisations.
Prior experience of organising sporting events, administrative work and sports activities is useful, especially as there is likely to be intense competition for a limited amount of jobs.
The road to becoming an elite-level coach is tough, but it is a pathway that is open to everyone with the determination to succeed.
Candidates don’t necessarily need to have played the game at a high level to become a top-class coach.
Universities provide coaching and development programmes designed to arm students with the skills, experiences and networks that will establish their graduates at the forefront of football coaching and development practice.
The Football Association also offers coaching courses for people of all experience levels. Whether you want a career at the upper echelons of the game or something at grassroots level, the route to success is transparent and open to everyone.
For coaches who want to ply their trade at the very top of the game, a UEFA licence is a necessity.
Various clubs and associations offer these courses and, in most cases, the possession of a Level Two football coaching qualification is the minimum entry requirement for the ‘B’ licence.
Candidates will need to provide evidence of practical experience in the coaching of 11-a-side teams to gain entry onto a course, as well as a passion for the game.
To coach at Premier League and Championship clubs, a UEFA ‘A’ licence is usually required. Candidates usually need to have a complete UEFA ‘B’ licence to gain entry onto a course, which needs to have been acquired within the last five years.
While the pathway to a career in top-level football coaching is complex, it is a path that anyone with determination and a passion for the game can undertake.
Coaching is an enriching and enjoyable career. By acquiring the necessary FA and UEFA qualifications, anyone with a love of football and a desire to coach can forge a rewarding career.
Agents perform a valuable function in football, primarily helping them to negotiate contractual agreements with professional clubs.
However, their role goes far beyond this, with sponsorship deals, media requests and personal matters falling under an agent’s remit.
Anyone wishing to become a football agent must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in subjects such as sports management, business management, administration or public relations.
You will need to have the ability to handle contracts and endorsements, while knowledge of sports business law is also essential.
If you are thinking about setting up a football agency, you must formulate a long-term business plan to ensure that your idea is sustainable.
You will need a core of clients to get the business off the ground, along with an idea of key expenses such as licensing fees, travel costs and event expenditure.
A trustworthy football agent can be worth their weight in gold, and this career route can be hugely lucrative if you perform the role with aplomb.