A football club can be a source of great pride within a community. Establishing a club provides future opportunities for players and management, entertainment for fans and revenue for sponsors and partners. Starting a football club can be a daunting task, but there are steps you can take to make it easier. Consider the following recipe when looking to establish a football club.
How to Start a Football Club
Fill the roles of manager, secretary and treasurer. Remember, this is a business, so you will need to fill these business positions to ensure your club not only starts off on the right foot, but also continues to grow. Generally, a manager will run the football aspects of the club, such as squads, training and transfers. A secretary will care for all the paperwork necessary to start and run a club, and generally is the exclusive contact with the local football association(s). The treasurer manages the finances and is an integral part of the management team to ensure the business side of the club does not affect the footballing side in a negative way. All aspects of management must have checks and balances and also embrace the conflict that is sure to occur throughout the club’s operation.
Find financing. Every team will incur significant start-up and running costs, but the amount can differ greatly depending on the club’s goals. Some initial fees to prepare for: Registration fees for the local FA, league fees, jersey fees, equipment, field fees (practice and match fields), insurance, taxes and travel fees. Again, depending on the club’s stature, even salaries for management and players are to be considered. Sources of funding can come from many areas and come in many different forms: players’ registration fees, ticket revenues and even sponsorships if you are able to procure them. Many take the form of cash in exchange for advertisement on kits and next to the match field, but equally common is equipment and service sponsorships. An example of a service sponsorship is a local company providing a Web site for the club in exchange for advertising at the matches.
Register with the local football association (FA). Before a team can take the field they must be registered with their local FA. Be prepared to fill out a good deal of paperwork and also decide on several club names just in case your first choice is taken. The local FA is there for many reasons, namely protecting the players and clubs of the league, ruling on disputes and appeals and ensuring the overall quality of the games.
Reserve fields for practices and matches. These can be the same field, but if the club is not prepared to make significant investments in this area it is recommended that practice fields remain separate to reduce overall costs. Many FAs will send the clubs a listing of the local fields, ranging from schoolyards to stadiums and prices set to match the quality. It is important to visit each prospective field before agreements and legal documents are signed, as poor field quality can hamper training and cause needless injuries.
Purchase equipment for training and matches. This includes balls, cones, whistles, goals if not provided by the field and other similar tools for development and preparation for matches.
Since running any sporting club is a business, it is important to always keep this in mind. Although it may be exciting and fashionable to purchase Arsenal replica jerseys for matches, a much more practical option is to look to local printing and screening shops for full kits. Ensure that each part of the management team is dedicated to the establishment and continual operation of the club, as it is an arduous and long-term commitment that is sure to test every person involved.
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