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He shoots, he scores!

Soccer EMBA brings professional approach to game

By Peter Walker for CNN
Can success on the field me matched by business acumen off it?


FT's Executive MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Hong Kong UST, China
3. London Business School, UK
4. Instituto de Empresa, Spain
5. Fuqua, Duke, U.S.
6. Chicago GSB, U.S.
7. Columbia, U.S.
8. Kellogg, U.S.
9. Stern, NY, U.S.
10. Cass, City University, UK
Source: Financial Times 2006



Executives taking the top EMBA courses in the U.S., Europe and Asia have average salaries of around $130,000 to $200,000.

A typical EMBA student is likely to be aged in the early 30s, with 6-10 years of working experience.

A top EMBA course can cost $100,000. Customized courses start at a few thousand dollars.


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(CNN) -- While football as a sport attracts the devotion of fans worldwide, particularly ahead of next month's World Cup, as a business it has a reputation for somewhat murky practices. But perhaps not for much longer.

Cass Business School, part of City University in London, has just announced a start date for an EMBA aimed at would-be executives in the global industry known in some countries as soccer.

From September 2007, students will study both traditional MBA material -- accounting, business economics, corporate finance and the likes -- and more specialized fare such as football-related legislation, regulation and marketing.

Costing around $47,000, the course is largely aimed at the English game, and is endorsed and supported by the Football Association, the sport's governing body in the country.

It is being led by Professor Chris Brady from Cass, one of Europe's top-ranked business schools, who acquired the moniker of 'Footy Prof' after penning a book called "The 90-Minute Manager," which uses football for examples of good and bad management.

Although the course date has only just been confirmed, Brady said he was hopeful of attracting a good number of students in the first year.

"If we get the same ratio of enquiries to applications to deposits that we normally get, we should get about 20 students in the first intake," he said, calling this sufficient for the "critical mass" needed to spark proper discussions and team work.

'Feeder industries'

Apart from one already well-known manager, or coach, very few enquiries thus far had come from people who played a role in what happens on the pitch, Bady said.

Most were instead from what he called "the supply chain to the industry".

"There are very few of the types of people you might normally imagine. Almost everybody is from ancillary, feeder industries if you like -- accountants, lawyers, people who are going to concentrate on the football industry and want a better knowledge of the industry to accelerate their progress in their own jobs."

English football, where top players can routinely earn around $100,000 dollars a week and a series of clubs have acquired massive debts in an attempt to buy success, is already a better-run industry than before, Brady argues.

"If you look at the numbers of Premier League clubs in profit, four years ago only four or five clubs were in profit -- now only two or three are not in profit," he said.

This " huge shift" was in part down to the example of Leeds United, who spent massively in an attempt to reach the top but ended up wasting millions and almost went bust a few years ago, freefalling out of the English Premier League in the process.

This had been "a real wake-up call" for football, Brady said, meaning the game was now ready for a specialist MBA.

"Our position is that if this industry is becoming more like every other industry, why wouldn't people want an MBA if they want them in every other industry?"

For a long time, Bady said, the prevailing attitude in the business side of the sport was "it's football," meaning the love of the game came first.

"I think we've moved on from that -- people are not just saying: 'It's just a game', they're saying: 'I want to be involved in this business but I'll use the same criteria as I'd use in any other business.'"

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