A-League rivals unite to build sports industry career pathway

A-League rivals Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory have joined forces off the pitch to provide a new education opportunity for students to further support their communities.

After the successful launch of the Melbourne Victory Sport & Business Program in Victoria this year, Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC have launched a new dual Diploma program for students in New South Wales in 2022.

The Sport & Business Programs are a one-year dual diploma powered by SEDA Group (SEDA), the leaders in applied learning in the sports industry. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in everything from football specific high-performance activities, such as coaching and sports science, to other areas around the business, including sponsorship, fundraising, event management, media and marketing.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the sports industry, the first year of the Melbourne Victory Sport and Business Program has given inaugural students the opportunity to thrive.

Student Joel Martin had the opportunity to work with the Melbourne Victory coaching and membership teams working on a blended approach to his work placement.

“There were a lot of positives for me to come out of the program placement. In planning for large scale projects, I have learnt from not just from Melbourne Victory but also other experts in the sports industry,” Martin said.

Students will benefit from invaluable practical help on their career path, within the sports and recreation industry. Innovative new courses are designed to offer on-the-job training within professional football.

Football leads the way as the only Australian sport to have three A-League clubs offering this type of course for the benefit the sports community.

Melbourne Victory Managing Director Caroline Carnegie:

“Our partnership with SEDA has been essential to our education pillar. This has been an exciting way for Victory to identify and develop the next generation of talented off-field administrators and support staff just like Joel.”

Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer Danny Townsend:

“Sydney FC are committed to making an impact on the educational journey of students who want a career in sport. We aim to expose students to a range of learning opportunities which will help them in designing their own careers and make positive contributions to their community.”

Western Sydney Wanderers Chief Executive Officer John Tsatsimas:

“Students will not only have the opportunity to work directly on exciting projects such as our Community Development Programs but also connect in with some of our leading industry experts from the club across sports science and marketing.”

Applications are open to all eligible Year 12 graduate students for the new diploma program, beginning in February 2022.

Prospective students can head to seda.edu.au for more information.

Students and parents will have the opportunity to attend information sessions being held prior to upcoming A-League Men’s fixtures.

Sydney FC Sport and Business Program Information Session – Pre-game Saturday November 27 vs Macarthur at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium (5:30pm – 6:30pm)

Western Sydney Wanderers Sport and Business Program Information Session – Pre-game  Sunday November 28 vs Newcastle Jets at CommBank Stadium (4:30pm – 5:30pm)

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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