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VSI Summit set to debate changing nature of football club ownership

Saturday, 8 September 2018


VSI’s 2018 Sporting Directors’ summit will see delegates gather to debate the changing nature of football club ownership.
The event marks the launch of the VSI’s ground-breaking MBA for Chief Executives in Sport, a programme that will be taught in collaboration with the Centre for Sport Business at the University of Salford.

A cohort of 20 leaders from the world of business and sport will study for a qualification that was designed in response to industry demand for a new generation of highly qualified Chief Executives to manage the unique global challenges of franchises and national governing bodies.

VSI founded the widely acclaimed MSc in Sporting Directorship and their latest cohort will join the MBA students and guest speakers for a no holds barred evening at Manchester’s NEO Building on 11th September 2018, getting to grips with one of the biggest challenges currently facing football – club ownership.

Leading football academic Professor Chris Brady, said: “There is barely a day that goes by without speculation around the future of at least one club or another; be it the relatively recent change in the ownership and new business model at Wolves, the even more recent takeover at Aston Villa or the hedge fund ownerships at Roma and AC Milan.

“These, and other models such as Manchester City’s global branding approach, will also have an enormous effect upon the internal governance of the various clubs and on those governed.

“The days of local businessmen owning clubs, now valued in the billions, are long since gone and have already been replaced by oligarchs, US sports business owners, government-backed funds and multi-million-pound trusts. Where to next?”

And it is the “where to next?” that represents such a challenge for VSI’s gathering of industry professionals.

Sport franchises have typically been viewed as an intrinsic part of local communities with national governing bodies supporting that dynamic.

VSI Chairman, Andy McIntyre, fears for the future of that key relationship, saying: “The German fan ownership model, for instance, is advocated by many and seen as something of a solution, but there are big question marks around it.

“We will have expert speakers and delegates who are central to this debate and it really is an evening not to be missed.”

Demand for the invitation only summit has been high with McIntyre adding: “The summit is now viewed as being a major bonus for VSI’s various cohorts as they get an opportunity to network and debate with fellow key strategic leaders in sport.

fcbusiness magazine has aligned itself to the summit with McIntyre saying: “fcbusiness magazine is the go-to read on all that is important in the business of football. There isn’t a CEO in the country that doesn’t make it a staple part of their monthly information gathering.”

Editor of fcbusiness, Aaron Gourley, said: The VSI Summit is one of the leading gatherings in football business and will see a top quality line-up of speakers and guests debating the current issues around football club ownership.

“The way football is run and the ownership models employed have changed dramatically over the years and differ from club to club. We’ve seen huge rise in Chinese entrepreneurs taking ownership of clubs in the last few years whilst investment from the US continues to rise – both looking to capitalise on the global popularity of football.

The VSI summit will explore the changing nature of club ownership and I’m sure it will prompt healthy debate among those in attendance.”

For more information about the summit agenda Click Here or the find out how you can attend please email
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