The business of football
The business of football

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Free course

The business of football

Week 1 Football: a business like no other

Introduction to Week 1

Course leaders Ben Oakley and Jacky Hinton introduce you to the course and Week 1.
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Course leaders Ben Oakley and Jacky Hinton introduce you to the course and Week 1.

Ben Oakley
My name is Ben Oakley and my academic expertise is in coaching and working in sport. I’m the Head of Department for Childhood, Youth and Sport at The Open University. Sport has been my career for 25 years including 8 years as an Olympic coach. Now I try to get the best out of learners by developing new online learning for sport students at the University.
Jacky Hinton
I’m Jacky Hinton and I am an occupational psychologist and I run the Masters programme here at the Open University Business School. I'm here to give the business perspective and show you how you can take what you learn about the football industry back into your own workplace.
Ben Oakley
Our goal in this course has been to bring the subject to life.
Jacky Hinton
So we have lots of high quality audio, video and activities for you as well as perspectives from football insiders and analysis from leading business experts.
Ben Oakley
The course is spread over three weeks and looks at a range of topics. In the first week we will examine the make up of the football business and the extent to which it is like other, more conventional, industries. We hope you enjoy this short exploration of the business of football.
Jacky Hinton
And are inspired to take your studies further.
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This free course explores the business of football and has been developed by The Open University in partnership with the EFL Trust – the educational arm of the English Football League. We are very fortunate to be working with the Trust. They have been able to provide us with access to a wide range of people working within football, who you will encounter as you progress through the course.

One of the first challenges of this course is to explore football as a sector of business and how it differs from other industries. We begin by asking two questions:

  • What is the business of football?
  • How does it differ from other businesses?

The English Football League [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (EFL) (formerly the Football League) is based in England and Wales and is the world’s original league football competition. The 72 member clubs make it the largest single body of professional clubs in European football. The EFL celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013.

The EFL Trust is a registered charity that governs, advises and audits the charitable trusts associated with the professional clubs of the English Football League, who have a combined annual turnover of over £44 million, and 2,500 members of staff, including teachers, coaches, professional health and social workers and many others to tackle community challenges.

Using the ‘Power of Football’, the Trust continues to flourish, delivering life improving projects, which engage with over 1.5 million people per year, focusing on education, sport, inclusion and health.

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help, and if you haven't done so already, please fill in this optional survey.

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