The business of football
The business of football

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The business of football

1.1 Listening to football club employees and players

You have started to think about what motivates people in general terms. You’ll now hear directly from football club employees and players in a fascinating, specially made video that uses behind-the-scenes interviews from Football League clubs MK Dons and Chesterfield.

Activity 2 Comparing your work motives with those in football

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes

The following video contains a unique range of perspectives from the boot room to the boardroom. Note down the different reasons people state for workplace satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Consider how the motives described for a football club compare with or extend beyond the reasons highlighted in the previous activity (including job interest, social interaction, self-esteem, identity, doing good and any other reasons).

Download this video clip.Video player: 31701_nc_2014_businessfootball_vid003_jobsatisfaction-360.mp4
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Job satisfaction

Lee Hodson
The best thing about being a footballer is, I would say, waking up every morning, and going to a job that you love doing. As a kid, that’s all I wanted to be, and coming in every day and enjoying your job is a main thing, and playing in front of thousands of people week-in-week-out, there’s not a better feeling.
Karl Robinson
The best thing about being a football manager, for me, is the development of young players and, ultimately then, prepare in a week to try and win a football match, and then winning it. It’s when a plan comes together.
Shaun O’Hara
The best part about the job is match days. Sitting there in the blind faith hope that they might actually win on a Saturday.
Angela Novell
The best thing, for me, without question, is being part of the football club, and being part of the stadium development here. It’s been the thing that I’m most proud of. It’s a really exciting place to be, and sport as a vehicle is so engaging and helps us empower people to be able to feel that they’re part of the football club. It removes barriers for communities so, for example, in terms of our dads programme, lots of dads are happy to come here and to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise want to do. So, I still get a real buzz from being out here, and seeing this amazing space, and it’s very inspirational.
Joe Aylett
I think the best thing is seeing how the club’s grown in the last 10 years, so when I come to work, we work in a beautiful stadium so we’ve got to aim for our pitches to look that beautiful, and the surroundings does give you a lift. It does motivate you, and when people come here, - film crews, supporters, especially away supporters, or any tours – you’re proud of where you work and what you do.
Sam Morsy
The worst part of being a footballer is actually just losing. When you win it’s great, you get a great high, and everyone’s proud of you. When you lose, you feel as if you’ve let people down, but it’s all part and parcel. You’ve got to take the highs with the lows.
Shaun O’Hara
The worst part of the job is coming in on a Monday morning when we have lost, and trying to pick up everybody else because, actually, it has a big impact on morale when a team is not performing well so our job as senior managers is to help staff, pick them up, make sure we can move on to next week, and hopefully, get the result we want in the future.
Kay Adkins
It is sometimes difficult to combine professional sport with community delivery for the same reasons: things become unpredictable – either you’re doing very well in the league or you’re doing very badly in the league, and that can affect how we’re working on day-to-day projects, but the atmosphere a) in the town, and b) in the club can be very frustrating if it’s at one end or the other because trying to manage a programme over a 3 year period with all that going on can be quite a strain.
Ian Evatt
The thing I like the least, I would say, is the pressure. A lot of people think it’s an easy job, but when you’ve got 20/30,000 fans, and it’s their be-all and end-all of the week, it’s tough, especially when things aren’t going well, and the teams are struggling etc. it’s difficult to go out and play with freedom under that kind of pressure.
Drew Talbot
The worst thing is injuries. I’m injured at present, which is very frustrating but you put your body through rigours that it’s not supposed to sometimes, and it’s part and parcel, but it can be very frustrating to especially watch team mates playing and you’re sat in the stands. It’s not very nice.
Karl Robinson
For me, the worst thing is when you have players who waste their talent, and you work an awful lot of hours trying to help them and they just don’t want to be helped, and I’ve seen many of them sadly.
Tony Lormor
The worst thing you would say about working here would be probably the hours, but that’s manageable and enjoyable at the same time. If I didn’t enjoy it, then I wouldn’t do it.
Shaun O’Hara
People getting the money in football are football players so, for me, it’s about the satisfaction of the job. Of course, everybody’s motivated by pay to a point, but, for me, it is about coming into work every morning, getting out of bed and knowing I’m going to work and enjoying it.
Joe Aylett
Everybody needs pay. We come to work for money but, as a motivator, I don’t believe it’s that strong a motivator. What’s a real good motivator is the product you provide at the end. If you get praise from your superiors, you get praise from supporters, other groundsmen, it’s very important because we all criticise each other’s pitch, but also, if you have a good pitch, you are recognised within the trade so that’s a great motivation when your peers look at you in that light.
Sam Morsy
What really motivates me is winning, winning medals, and building a legacy, if you like, so long after I stop playing, things I can look back and say ‘I’ve done this’ but, of course, money is a big factor because football is a very short career, so you need to earn as much as possible while you’re playing.
Lee Hodson
I think the main thing is playing football and enjoying it, and that’s the main thing – doing a job that you love and always dreamed of doing.
End transcript
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Love and enjoyment of being part of the game shines through for most interviewees but what else brings them job satisfaction or dissatisfaction?

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