Friday, June 21, 2019 | ePaper

Study football in England

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Joanna Hughes :
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off last week and has fans all over the world glued to the edge of their seats. While Russia, the host country of this World Cup, has the distinction of being the first Eastern European country to host the event, another European nation is famous for its legacy in football ('soccer' to Americans): England. The thought of studying football may sound like a dream come true for any football fan. However, it is very much a real possibility, and there is no better place to do it than in London. Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Italy and many other countries are known for their footballing prowess. However, there is nothing quite like England's connection with the sport.  
Here is a roundup of three reasons to get a degree in football in England, along with one higher education institution helping its graduates land jobs in the thrilling, multi-billion-pound football industry.
1. England's passion for football is enduring.
While some say the history of football can be traced back to ancient China, England is responsible for organizing the game we know and love today. "To say football is a way of life for most Brits would be a gross understatement," says Great British Mag. "It evokes a level of passion and camaraderie that can baffle someone who doesn't support a football team. Choosing a team is often a family affair or a matter of where you live. But once you have chosen a team it is a lifelong commitment. Supporting them through both good and bad times!"
In other words, if you want to be surrounded by people who love the sport as much as you do, England is the place to be.
2. Football is an important part of the English economy.
Football is not just important to England's people; it is also important to its economy. More than 800,000 tourists flock to Britain every year to watch live football matches. The Telegraph newspaper states: "Figures from Visit Britain show that football is a significant contributor to inbound tourism to Britain. The unmatched global appeal of the English Premier League is well-documented, of course, with the television rights for domestic viewers recently being agreed at more than £5bn and matches being broadcast in 175 countries."
"Defining sport's value to Britain's economy is difficult, in a stock market context, but the sums paid to secure broadcasting rights for sport puts a price on it that can be measured," Wes McCoy, investment director for Standard Life Investments, told The Telegraph. "Given the backdrop of low interest rates, a financial crisis and low inflation, this rate of value growth, 57 percentage per game inflation in the most recent negotiation for rights, looks ever more impressive."
3. England has many popular football clubs.
According to Great British Mag, England is currently home to more than 40,000 registered football clubs - more than twice that of Brazil. These clubs are not only great in number, but also in stature. According to Deloitte's annual Football Money League 2018, the English Premier League dominates the field, laying claim to ten of the top 20 teams - the highest ever from one country.
So, in the country in love with 'the beautiful game', which university leads the way for degrees in football? University Campus of Football Business (UCFB).
Offering degrees in the football and sports industry, UCFB has many advantages. It has campuses at the heart of both Wembley Stadium, the historic home of England football, and the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
It offers a range of postgraduate qualifications, undergraduate degrees, foundation years, and short study experiences - all of which offer a gateway to much sought-after positions in the field.
Moreover, UCFB has an extensive network of partners and industry professionals in the football industry, including The Football Association, League Managers Association and The National League, and plenty of networking opportunities with guest speakers that have included England manager Gareth Southgate and sports presenter Gabby Logan.
This is reflected in figures showing almost two-thirds of its graduates work in the football and sports industry, including with Premier League football clubs.
The school also boasts many elite industry partnerships in the wider sports industry, including with the Rugby Football League. "We have a really fantastic relationship with UCFB and for the last several months we've been working with them to house internships for some of the graduates or those currently studying," says Kait Ludwig, club marketing and business operations manager for the Rugby Football League. "At any given point we can roll out different work opportunities in multiple different areas of the business. It's so common that you will see students that want to work in sport and they have to go to an institution where they'll have to study business and economics. Whereas here I feel that because it is tailored specifically to sport and the networks that UCFB has with sporting organizations, not only ours but globally, it's incomparable. It is really beneficial."
UCFB is the perfect place for women to begin their journey in the football industry thanks to its commitment to inclusion and opportunity. At a recent event at UCFB Wembley in partnership with the Premier League, almost 100 women gathered to attend Kick It Out's Women's Raise Your Game conference.
If working in football sounds like a dream to you, a university degree at UCFB may be exactly what you need to turn that dream into a reality. Attend a Campus Open Day to learn more about the many reasons to study football in the UK.

(Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family).

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