Special Course in Football Management and Finance: Introducing our lecturers and modules


Embark on an academic journey through the intricate world of Football Management and Finance in a course offered from Birkbeck University and Football Benchmark.

This comprehensive program navigates the multifaceted landscape of the European football industry, offering a profound understanding of its evolution, economics, financial intricacies, and regulatory frameworks. Each module provides a focused exploration of those areas’ specifics, from dissecting revenue streams and financial structures of clubs to scrutinizing player trading dynamics, digitalisation's impact, and the sector’s diverse business models.

Delve into the nuances of sports infrastructure, youth football trajectories, and the contrasting strategies employed by clubs, amalgamating theoretical frameworks with practical insights drawn from real-world case studies. This holistic curriculum equips participants with a deep-seated comprehension of the dynamic football industry, preparing them to navigate its complexities with informed expertise.

Module 1 - Understanding the basic financials of football clubs
Lecturer: Antonio di Cianni (Head of Football Economics and Strategy, Football Benchmark)

Module 1 serves as an academic introduction to the fundamental financial structure and accounting practices of football clubs. It elucidates multiple aspects of financial statements, including income statements and balance sheets, with a focus on player trading and contracts. Through analyses of debt, profitability measures, and cash flow statements, this first section provides a nuanced understanding by applying concepts to dissect the financial intricacies of top European clubs via case studies sourced from the Football Benchmark Data & Analytics platform.

Module 2 - Evolution of the economics of the European football industry
Lecturer: Andrea Sartori (Founder & CEO, Football Benchmark)

Explore the intricate evolution of the economics within the European football industry in Module 2, which provides a comprehensive understanding of the football ecosystem, emphasising revenue streams such as matchday earnings, broadcasting rights, commercial ventures, and player trading. It also examines the evolving media landscape's impact on revenue generation and scrutinizes sponsorship dynamics, revenue distribution mechanisms, and power dynamics within the industry. Finally, this analysis addresses persistent inequalities among countries and clubs while shedding light on emerging markets beyond Europe.

Module 3 - Financial control mechanisms and regulations:
Lecturers: Francesca Whitfield (Director of Group Planning & Football Finance, Manchester United), Andrea Sartori (Founder & CEO, Football Benchmark)

Delving into critical financial control mechanisms and regulations, Module 3 explores overarching frameworks in football and club licensing systems, particularly UEFA's stringent standards. This module dissects the key principles underpinning UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations, evaluating achievements, criticisms, and guiding principles for new regulatory frameworks.

Module 4 - Transfer market analysis
Lecturer: Antonio di Cianni (Head of Football Economics and Strategy, Football Benchmark)

Module 4 offers a comprehensive exploration of player trading and transfers within football. It analyses the dynamics of the transfer market, agent roles, talent scouting, and player valuation methodologies. This course section concludes in student-led case study presentations, building upon knowledge acquired in Module 1.

Module 5 - New media, social media and digitalization in football
Lecturer: Dr. Samuel Tickell (Sport and Media Researcher, University of Münster)

Module 5 shifts focus to the transformative impact of new media and digitalisation within football. It emphasises the pivotal role of social media platforms, reshaping engagement, communication, and commercial strategies while influencing fan interaction, branding, and the sport's overall landscape.

Module 6 - Football club transactions: Investment trends and club valuation
Lecturer: Antonio di Cianni (Head of Football Economics and Strategy, Football Benchmark)

Module 6 probes evolving club transactions, scrutinizing investment trends, club valuation dynamics, and the influx of new investors in sports. It introduces valuation methodologies specific to football clubs, utilising resources such as the Football Benchmark Valuation Report to exemplify these concepts.

Module 7 - Financial aspects of sports infrastructure
Lecturer: Aymeric Magne (CEO & Founder, Winger 11 Advisory)

Academically exploring financial facets within sports infrastructure, Module 7 scrutinizes elements such as CAPEX, OPEX, and facility management. Insights into evolving stadium development trends emphasise strategic considerations essential for sustainable sports infrastructures and their long-term impact, including legacy aspects and considerations for major events.

Module 8 - Youth football
Lecturers: Pouya Yaghoubinia (Football Development Manager, ECA), Sebestyén Balázs (Senior Advisor, Football Benchmark)

Module 8 critically examines the trajectory of youth football, detailing developmental milestones and career pathways. It investigates best practices facilitating transitions to the first team, regulatory environments, and opportunities available for youth players in Europe, particularly focusing on playing time as pivotal for their progression.

Module 9 - Analysis of various football clubs’ business models / case studies
Lecturer: Simon Van Kerckhoven (Founder, Zurafa Football Capital)

Finally, Module 9 integrates theoretical frameworks with practical application through a diverse range of football club case studies. It scrutinizes distinctive business models prevalent within the industry, offering a comprehensive analysis of contrasting approaches employed by clubs across Europe.

Stay informed! Over the next few days, we'll be unveiling further guest speakers on Football Benchmark's LinkedIn page.

Register now for the course, here: