Module 1: Football industry, governance and European football competitions

 Monday 15 January 2024: The football industry and its governance

9:30

Welcome address and introduction to the course

Robby Houben (Professor University of Antwerp)

9:45

Who is who?

All participants

10:15

The football industry & its financial framework

Dirk Decorte (Professor University of Antwerp)

11:30

Coffee break

12:00

The governance of football in Europe: the regulators

Marco Amezcua (Senior Legal Counsel at Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA))

12:30

The governance of football in Europe: 

the clubs

Dennis Gudasic (Executive director Lokomotiva Zagreb and co-founder Union of European Clubs (UEC))

13:00

Lunch

14:00

The governance of football in Europe: 

the leagues

Alberto Colombo (Deputy General Secretary at European Leagues (EL))

14:30

The governance of football in Europe: 

the players

Joachim Walltin (General Secretary at Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels (FIFPRO) division Europe)

15:00

The governance of football in Europe:

the agents

Roberto Branco Martins (General counsel European Football Agents Association)

15:30

The governance of football in Europe: 

the fans

Ronan Evain (Chief executive officer at Football Supporters Europe (FSE))

16:00

Coffee break

16:30

Stakeholder debate with FIFA, UEC, EL, FIFPRO, EFAA, FSE

moderated by Robby Houben (Professor University of Antwerp)

18:00

Break

19:00

Welcome reception

20:00

Opening dinner


Tuesday 16 January 2024: (European) football competitions

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

The Belgian competition format: recall

Lorin Parys (CEO Belgian Pro League)

10:15

Designing Competitions

Hypercube business innovation

11:15

Coffee break

11:45

Designing competitions: workshop

All participants, with the guidance of Hypercube business innovation

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Competition formats in other sports: basketball and cycling

Tomas Van Den Spiegel (CEO at Flanders Classics, President at Union of European Leagues of Basketball (ULEB), Board and Exco member at Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Europe, Director RSC Anderlecht (Belgian Pro League)

15:00

Coffee break

15:30

The Super League as challenger

Bernd Reichart (CEO at A22 Sports - advisor and promoter of the European Super League)

Javier Tebas (President La Liga)

17:00

End of module 1

Module 2: Managing football clubs

Monday 26 February 2024: Financial management and communication

9:30

Club communication (strategy)

Lou Buggy (Change and communication specialist)

11:00

Coffee break

11:30

Club communication (strategy): exercises

Lou Buggy

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Leadership

Erik Franck (Professor University of Antwerp, Coach at Better Minds at Work)

15:30

Coffee break

16:00

Leadership: exercises

Erik Franck 

17:30

End


Tuesday 27 February 2024: Leadership, operational and strategic management

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

Financial management of clubs

Kieran Maguire (Professor University of Liverpool Management School, Author of ‘The Price of Football’)

11:15

Coffee break

11:45

Financial management of clubs: exercises

Kieran Maguire

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Strategic management of clubs

Mikkel Draebye (Professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy)

15:30

Coffee break

16:00

Strategic management of clubs: exercises

Mikkel Draebye

17:00

End of module 2

Module 3: Football players and transfers

Monday 18 March 2024: Players - working with data and transfers contracts

9:30

Warm-up

All participants

9:45

Data analytics in football

Chris Anderson (Professor London School of Economics (UK), Former Chief executive officer at Coventry City FC, Co-founder Anderson Sally Football Intelligence, Author of ‘The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong’)

11:15

Coffee break

11:45

Case study: Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

Chris O’Loughlin (Sporting director Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgian Pro League))

12:30

Players and their data: testimonial

Jan Vertonghen (Player RSCA Anderlecht (Belgian Pro League))

13:00

Lunch

14:00

The regulation of player transfers and termination of contract 

Michele Colucci (Founder and Honorary President of the Italian Sports Lawyers Association, Member of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber, the FIFPRO Dispute Committee, and President of the Council of the Court of Arbitration of the European Handball Federation.

15:30

Coffee break

16:00

The transfer contract: drafting solic clauses and avoiding disputes

Frans De Weger (Chair of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber)

17:30

End


Tuesday 19 March 2024: Working with agents, minors and transfer round table  

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

​A Soccernomics approach to transfer markets, incentive pay and the market for coaches

Stefan Szymanski (Professor Stephen J. Galetti Professor of Sport Management, University of Michigan (USA), Co-Author ‘Soccernomics’)

11:00

Coffee break

11:30

Working with agents

Stijn Francis (Football agent Stirr Associates)

Tine Matton (Chief executive officer Stirdd Associates)

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Working with minors

Sven Demeulemeester (Lawyer AtField)

15:00

Coffee break

15:30

Round table on transfers

Vincent Mannaert (Chief executive officer Club Brugge (Belgian Pro League))
Sven Jaecques (Chief executive officer Royal Antwerp FC (Belgian Pro League))
Stijn Francis (Football agent Stirr Associates)
Mats Rits (Player RSCA Anderlecht (Belgian Pro League))
Jan Vertonghen (Player RSCA Anderlecht (Belgian Pro League))
Simon Mignolet (Player Club Brugge (Belgian Pro League))

17:00

End of module 3

Module 4: Licensing, financial fair play, compliance and tax

Monday 15 April 2024: Licensing and financial fair play

9:30

Warm-up

All participants

9:45

Football club licensing and financial fair play in Belgium and Spain

Nils Van Brantegem (License manager Royal Belgian Football Association)
Javier Gomez (Corporate General Director La Liga)

11:15

Coffee break

11:45

Financial fair play in Europe

Andrea Traverso (Director Financial Sustainability and Research at Union of European Football Associations (UEFA))

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Financial fair play: exercises

Michael Verschueren (Chairman of the European Club Association’s Finance Working Group)

15:30

Coffee break

16:00

About the owner. Foreign investment and multi-club ownership in football

Siniša Petrović (Professor at University of Zagreb, Croatia)
Pierre Locht (CEO Standard de Liège (Belgian Pro League))

17:30

End


Tuesday 16 April 2024: Compliance and tax

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

Compliance: why is it important for a football club?

Vincent Denonville (Konfidens Consulting, Former Head of Compliance Operations & Strategy at FIFA, 

Former compliance officer Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Bank of America Merrill Lynch)

10:45

The FIFA Clearing House

César Chapparo Yedro (Head of Clearing House at FIFA)

11:30

Coffee break

12:00

Compliance and anti-money laundering in Belgium – selected topics with exercises

Pieter De Beus (Compliance officer at Royal Belgian Football Association)Kris Meskens (Secretary-General at Belgian Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CTIF – CFI), the Belgian Financial Intelligence Unit)

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Taxation of professional football 

Karolina Tetlak (Professor University of Warsaw, Poland)Daan Buylaert (Lawyer Atfield)

15:30

Coffee break

16:00

Taxation of professional football: exercises

Karolina Tetlak (Professor University of Warsaw, Poland)

Daan Buylaert (Lawyer Atfield)

17:00

End of module 4

Module 5: Women’s football, sustainability and community service

Monday 3 June 2024: Women’s football, sustainability and community service

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

(Promoting) women’s football

Peter Willems (Former Head of Marketing Activities and Sponsorship at UEFA,
Former Chief executive officer at OHLeuven (Belgian Pro League))

11:00

Women’s football: player testimony

Janice Cayman (Player Leicester City FC (English women’s Super League), Red Flame)

11:30

Coffee break

12:00

Multiple clubs in the same city. Case study: Atletico Madrid

Rafael Alique (Communication and marketing director Atletico Madrid)

13:00

Lunch

14:00

Football club’s community service

Mike Green (Chief executive officer Lommel SK (Belgian Challenger Pro League), Former Head of City in the Community, UK)

15:00

Building sustainable clubs: learning from the greenest club in the world, Forest Green Rovers: Case study

Marcus Reynolds (CEO Forest Green Rovers)

16:00

Coffee break

16:30

Case study community service, fan engagement and sustainability: Brentford FC

​Greig Mailer (Corporate Affairs Director at Brentford FC (Premier League))

17:30

Break

19:00

Closing reception

19:30

Live interview: sponsoring a football club and the sponsor’s (societal) expectations

Christophe Hamal (CEO Baloise Belgium, sponsor KAA Gent (Belgian Pro League))
Laurent Secheret (Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, Sponsor RSCA Anderlecht and Club Brugge (Belgian Pro League), and Forest Green Rovers (EFL League Two))


interviewed by Robby Houben

20:00

Closing dinner

All participants and alumni Pro League Business School 2023


Tuesday 4 June 2024: Sharing best practices and the geopolitical economy of football

9:30

Warm-up 

All participants

9:45

Sharing best practices: Pro League Business School elevator pitches

All participants

11:00

Coffee break

11:30

Sharing best practices: Pro League Business School elevator pitches

All participants

13:00

Lunch

14:00

The geopolitical economy of football:
power, politics, money, and the state

Simon Chadwick (Professor Skema Business School, Paris, France)

15:30

Closing address

Robby Houben (Professor University of Antwerp)
Lorin Parys (CEO Belgian Pro League)

16:00

End of module 5

When? 

10 days between January and June 2024.

5 modules of two full, consecutive days per module.

  • 15 - 16 January 2024
  • 26 - 27 February 2024
  • 18 - 19 March 2024
  • 15 - 16 April 2024
  • 3 - 4 June 2024


Where?

City campus of the University of Antwerp and online (live and recorded).

Participants from abroad are encouraged to follow at least two module in person, to maximize networking experience.