ON THE FRONT FOOT F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1 I S S U E FO U RT E E N
THE RAPID GROWTH OF MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY EVERTON’S SPORTS-LED REGENERATION
DRIVING SUCCESS: PETRONAS SEPANG RACING TEAM
HAZARD HIS JOURNEY AND THE PEOPLE THAT GOT HIM THERE
BESPOKE AIR CHARTER FOR THE SPORTING ELITE
- Away Game, Tournament & Racing Group Charters
- Superior Health Security
- Urgent Contract & Medical Private Jet Charter
- Complete Schedule Control
- Executive Air Travel
- Private Terminal Access
- Pre & Mid-Season Training & Tours
- Bespoke Aircraft & Routes
- Personal Athlete Air Charter
- Enhanced Athlete & Staff Duty of Care
GLOBAL REACH • DEDICATED ACCOUNT MANAGER • TOTAL FLIGHT MANAGEMENT • AVAILABLE 24/7
T: +44 (0)1737 232 230 E: charters@ACCaviation.com
WIN A £250 SELFRIDGES VOUCHER BY COMPLETING A SHORT TRAVEL SURVEY CLICK HERE OR SCAN THE QR CODE
Editor Kai McKechnie Contributors Jake Wilkin Jack Kirchner Advertising To enquire about advertising please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Design Neil Shand – Shand Media Distributions/ Subscriptions email@example.com Published by Premier Sports Network www.premiersportsnetwork.com To send feedback or articles for publication contact Premier Sports Network at: marketing@ premiersportsnetwork.com
Premier Sports Network
2021: A YEAR OF HOPE OR CHAOS FOR THE BIGGEST EVENTS IN WORLD SPORT? 2021 is set to bring fresh hope to the sporting fans after the Coronavirus pandemic left the 2020 sporting calendar in absolute disarray. With the optimism of vaccines quickly being administered across the globe, it can be firmly said that good things are coming for those who have patiently waited for sports to remerge across pitches and television screens worldwide. Fingers crossed, this could be a fantastic year sport and it has all the ingredients to do so. After all the postponements, cancellations and rescheduling of so many events in 2020, the next 12 months promises to be memorable. Major sporting events coming up include the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as well as a pan-continental UEFA European Championships, both originally stated for 2020, while Wimbledon is looking towards its return following cancellation for the first time since World War II. Furthermore, the Rugby League World Cup is being held in England and for women’s rugby union there is a World Cup in New Zealand. Formula 1 has also announced a 23-race calendar for 2021. The new norm, in the pandemic situation, is still expected to continue in the early stages of this new year, but we remain positive that fans will once again be able to return to venues. As for Premier Sports Network, we are now entering our sixth year of connecting some of the world’s most renowned sports organisations from around the globe. From what began in 2015 with 60 active members for the first ever player care conference in London, has grown exponentially to over 12,000 sports professionals across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Despite setbacks to our own event calendar last year, forcing the postponement of our events in the UK, United States and Australia, the network has grown stronger, bringing together senior executives with similar business leaders and industry leading solution providers to facilitate networking, learning and relationship building. This year will see us penetrate the United States and Dubai markets further in order to support athletes and to do this we will continue to spark innovation through digital delivery. We hope to see you at one of our events this year, and better still, the opportunity of welcoming you at one of our many global conferences in the future. SPENCER HIDGE - Founder, Premier Sports Network
On The Front Foot is published by Premier Sports Agency Ltd. ©2021. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without permission.
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 3
24 30 4 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
06 “What is most important about the player care departments is that they take care of the players’ families.”
CONTENTS Eden Hazard: His journey and the people who got him there The exponential growth of Major League Rugby
Increasing female participation in elite coaching
Why are wolves recruiting a Strategic Player Marketing Manager? 45 Leadership ‘in the balance’
The People’s Project: Everton’s Stadium Development
The scouting app causing waves in football 48
Driving Success: Yamaha PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team
Rachel Daly and Millie Bright’s mental health project
Case Study: SCMxManCity
The impact of Brexit on aspects of Tax
Kairos: Helping Scotland quality for their first major tournament
Brexit: They’re coming home?
Job Vacancies 54
Brentford’s Strategic Digital Focus
Why now’s the time to consider a change in altitude
Making the right move – customised support makes all the difference 36 MLS prioritise player care through Teamworks investments
Navigating short careers and long retirements
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 5
6 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
E IV US CL EX
HIS JOURNEY AND THE PEOPLE WHO GOT HIM THERE Eden Hazard speaks exclusively with Premier Sports Network about player care; drawing on his experiences as a young player at Lille, the challenges of moving to the UK to play in the English Premier League with Chelsea FC, as well as settling in Spain to play under his idol, Zidane. Growing up in Belgium, before leaving for Lille at the age of 14, who were the most important people in helping you begin your footballing journey?
Growing up, I was lucky to have parents who played professional football, so until the age of 14 it was my Dad who encouraged me the most. I began my career at Braine-le-Comte because my Dad was involved with the club, and then I moved to Tubize as it was a bigger club and my Dad was involved there too so it was easy for us to make that change. Once I arrived in Lille I met more people such as agents and coaches who helped me to continue my journey. Which players did you admire the most when you were young? Who was your inspiration? When I first started playing football, there weren’t many top-quality Belgian players as
the Belgian team wasn’t as good then as it is today. When I was little the team I watched the most was the French national team. For me the players I looked up to were Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry, and it’s difficult for me to admit because of my relationship with Chelsea, but I really liked the Arsenal team at the time. They had players like Robert Pires, Wiltord and Vieira, so it was mainly French players that I followed growing up. Why did you choose to go to Lille and not stay in Belgium? Did you know then that you had the potential to make it to the top? When I was 13 I could have gone to play for Anderlecht who are one of the best teams in Belgium, but they still weren’t a very big club and it would have been difficult for me to balance my school life and also make the journey to and from Brussels every day. So, I decided on Lille instead because I knew that it was a higher standard than in Belgium. At that age I wasn’t
thinking about becoming a top player, but when I arrived in Lille and saw that I was always the best player there and started playing with the older teams, I started to think about becoming a professional. When you first arrived at Lille, how well did they look after you, and did you find it difficult being away from home? When I first arrived at Lille they took care of everything, I would spend the week there and come home for the weekends. The club took care of my education and my training, and the best thing about this was that the two were separate. You had educators who played the role of parent figures who not only would educate you at school but would also make sure you ate well, slept well and developed as a person off the pitch. I didn’t find it difficult being away from home because it was my decision to leave to challenge myself at a higher level. ➜ OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 7
Do you think the club has a responsibility to help young players to succeed outside of football? Absolutely, and that’s why in France they have educators who are separate from the football. The educators make sure you are prepared for life outside of sport. Once you get to 18 the club helps you find an apartment and you become more independent, but they are still always with you to offer support. The club still helps you with your personal issues, and you are always welcome back at the academy centre. It’s well-known that in France the educators at football clubs are there to support you off the pitch, and they do a great job. Do you think agents offer more help to the players or is it the clubs, and do you think it’s necessary for a player to have an agent? I think both offer a good amount of support, but it depends on the player. Some players have agents who are in contact with the clubs and the clubs support the player, so for me it’s best when the three parties, the club, the agent and the player, work together. I don’t have an agent so I don’t think an agent is absolutely necessary, but they can be very helpful. Now that I’m 30 and experienced I can make my own decisions, but when you are young and first starting out you need the support a lot more, not only from an agent but from your family and friends as well. Was moving to Chelsea and adjusting to life in a new country more challenging, especially given the increase in press attention you were receiving? What is most challenging about life in a new country is learning a different language. It’s difficult when people speak to you and you don’t understand what they say, and navigating the process of finding somewhere to live, finding yourself a car and organising your personal life is challenging without support. The club helped me a little to settle in but the level of support wasn’t like it is now. When I first arrived I had an agent who helped me to find a house, and luckily I also had some friends in London who supported me. There were also some French speaking players who helped me adjust to life in England, for example I spent a lot of time with Cesar Azpilicueta as he arrived at the same time from Marseille and could speak French, and in the January of my first season the club signed Demba Ba. I was with Demba a lot because we got on well and we could speak French together which allowed us both to adapt to life in England more smoothly. Has player welfare improved since 8 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
you started at Chelsea and if so, why do you think there has been such an increase in emphasis on looking after players and their families? There is definitely a lot more help for players now than before. Now at Chelsea there’s a whole department of people who support the players, but what is most important about the player care departments is that they take care of the players’ families. If you have a wife and young children who need to learn the language then find a school and learn where the pharmacy, the bank, the doctors are, especially in my case at such a young age, you need so much support with that process and it’s amazing that the clubs can provide that. I think the reason this has improved so much especially in the Premier League is because of the number of foreign players
playing in England. If I had played in Belgium then I wouldn’t have needed as much help because I know how things work there, but being a foreign player in England I needed the support from the club. Looking at the number of foreign players in England, you can see how important it is that clubs make sure they offer as much support as possible to these players and their families. When you first arrived at Real Madrid, how did you find settling into life in Spain and what support did the club offer? There are people at Real who help the players but when I arrived, I said I would do everything myself. I found a house for myself and we had already looked at schools our kids, so we took care of everything ourselves. However, there are
"I think it’s in the genes, our garden backed onto a football pitch growing up so all we did, every morning and after school, was play football. It’s rare of course to have three brothers become professional footballers, so I think it must be genetic."
people at Real who offer a lot of support and anything you need they are always helpful because at Madrid of course there are a lot of foreign players who have young families. Are there players who are affected by their lives off the pitch when they are playing, do they think about their personal lives during matches? Definitely and that’s why it’s important for clubs to have people that take care of the players, because when you’re on the pitch you need to be able to focus on your football. If your family aren’t settled, or you know you have to spend another night in a hotel because you haven’t found a house yet, then it plays on your mind and can affect your performance. You’ve spent time recently recovering from injury, and life at the moment is complicated for everyone so I imagine it’s been tough. How do you stay positive during these difficult moments in your career? I’m lucky that when I’m injured and stuck at home, I have my family to get me through. It’s not the end of the world for me because I can spend time with my kids, when you’re alone and injured it can be tough but I’m lucky that I have my family to support me. When you’re injured there’s only so much you can do, you can work to get better faster but the injuries I have had just take time to heal. I just have to wait, work hard to get better and when I’m at home I can enjoy the time with my family. How much contact with the upper management of a club such as directors and owners have you had in the past at the clubs you have been at,
and do you think these relationships are important? Normally the only players who speak to the directors are the players that have been at the club for a while. When I arrived at Chelsea I didn’t have much contact, but when I had been there for longer I developed a better relationship with the senior figures at the club. It’s important that good relationships exist between the players and the staff because it helps the club to function better as a whole. What are your goals for the rest of your career? Is there anything specific you hope to achieve? I’m just hoping to play football for as long as possible, and I always try to enjoy myself on the pitch. When it comes to the end of my career I can look back at my achievements, but my priority now is playing well and enjoying my football. I don’t think about where I will be in the next few years, I try to focus on the next match and the next training session. I’ve only just turned 30 so as long as my body feels good, hopefully I can keep playing for at least another five or six years. Does the success of you and your brothers come from your parents and their encouragement or is it genetic, what’s the secret? I There’s an expression in French, “les chiens ne font pas les chats”, which means that if my dad was a footballer then I become a footballer, and my kids will become footballers too. Do you think if Belgium continue to produce players like yourself, De Bruyne and Lukaku, your golden generation so to speak, then Belgian football
can continue to develop, and the league can become like Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga? I think it would help if those sorts of players went to play in Belgium towards the end of their careers, so we can talk more about the Belgian league and the world focuses more on that league. People talk about the leagues with the best players, for example Ligue 1 is big because they have players like Neymar and Mbappe. We’re lucky we had this great generation because it has encouraged a lot more young people to play football in Belgium having watched the success of the national team, so as a result academies have more money than they did before and we can try to develop more talented young players. I think in a few years the league could be really good. What is it about PSN’s Player Care network that is attractive for professional athletes? Anything that is there to help the players and their families for me is brilliant because you can’t expect the clubs to do everything. A more experienced player maybe doesn’t need so much help but when it comes to young players it’s important to support them. I think what’s good about Premier Sports Network is the relationships you build. It’s so important to have good relationships with everyone in this industry, whether it’s the players and their families or businesses or clubs, the most important thing is to have a good relationship with the people. The player care department at Chelsea works well because the people in it get on with everyone in the club. Sports clubs that work the best are the clubs where everyone works well together, so I think the emphasis that you put on building good relationships and supporting athletes behind the scenes is why you do so well. U OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 9
“The opportunity in this country to really establish a major, new professional sports league is unheard of. It’s not smooth sailing at all. But the opportunity to leave your mark on North American sport is rare, and I think there is a great opportunity here.”
10 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
The exponential growth of Major League Rugby George Killebrew, Commissioner of Major League Rugby (MLR) addresses several current issues for the infant league. He speaks about the challenges the league faces in a crowded marketplace, approaches the key to driving interest, emphasises the focus on youth development and also looks towards future expansion. One of the world’s most popular sports, rugby, is growing in interest and participation in North America, due to the early successes and rapid expansion of Major League Rugby. Established in 2017, the league played its inaugural season in 2018 with seven teams. After a successful introduction, the 2021 season will kick-off on March 20 with 12 teams – Atlanta, Austin, DC, Houston, Los Angeles, New England, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Utah and Toronto. George Killebrew joined Major League Rugby as the league’s new Commissioner at the end of 2019 following 28 years with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks organisation where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. It was the Mavericks’ long-standing owner and rugby enthusiast, Mark Cuban who recommended the role to George. “Mark told me that their issue is the commercialisation,” George begins. “He thought I could pull some of the people around me to populate this league office and really try and work on these commercialisation issues “And that’s what we’ve done. I’ve been able to attract people I’ve worked with over the years in the industry to our league office and then populated our
teams with people that have experience in this. “The opportunity in this country to really establish a major, new professional sports league is unheard of. It’s not smooth sailing at all. But the opportunity to leave your mark on North American sport is rare, and I think there is a great opportunity here.” Challenges “The commercialisation of rugby is at the top of the list at World Rugby. It’s not just
a USA Rugby issue, World Rugby issue or Major League Rugby issue, it’s just where we are as a sport. “We are the only professional rugby league in North America, so rugby is not the problem. Our issue is the commercialisation of the game; filling our stands, getting big rights feeds from media partners and getting big seven figure league sponsors. “Obviously, rugby isn’t as mainstream in the United States and Canada as it is in the rest of the world so it’s about finding ways in a very crowded marketplace. Of our 12 teams, six are in the top ten media markets in the United States. Now, it’s about developing those fan bases, getting them to become fans of the game, getting them to attend our matches and getting them to follow us on television. “Adding Los Angeles this year was a huge milestone. The LA market is one of the largest media markets in the US. We had planned on adding Dallas but due to a number of issues the team decided in mid-January to postpone their inaugural season. Dallas is a top-five television market and a region that is important to MLR’s long-term growth strategy. This was a difficult decision, but one that’s being done for prudent reasons and to serve the fan base, the team and the league well in the long run.” ➜ OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 11
America’s interest in rugby “I think we know that this is the prime example of a sport that is loved internationally but hasn’t fully translated in North America. “We haven’t been playing for almost a year now and what we are being told from our research is that there is this whole layer of sports fans in America who are very curious about rugby. They don’t want to just fall into that category as an NFL fan or NBA fan. They want their own thing, and that’s in really large numbers. Now it’s up to us to communicate to them how to attend and how to watch. Then, if they do indeed attend or watch, we have to make sure it’s a great experience. “It’s right there for the taking. I don’t think there is another sport in the world that is as ripe as rugby is to succeed in North America. I can’t think of another. “I look at the MLS as a great blueprint for us. The MLS at 25 years old is selling franchises for US$250 million – that’s what the new ones are paying to join MLS. Now, I hope it doesn’t take us 25 years I’m trying to compact that into a shorter learning curve - but they have done a wonderful job no doubt about it and we are set up similarly – we are a single entity the way they are. “I was that soccer dad when my sons were young and soccer first arrived here. They would ask me to explain the offside rule to them and I couldn’t because I didn’t know – it wasn’t indigenous to us. But if I was to take him to an NFL game or an MLB game or an NBA game, I could explain the rules. We are going through that same learning curve and that’s why it’s important to teach and explore the demographic.” The key to driving interest “The ‘rugby faithful’ are the bedrock of attendance, but we’ve got to get all these other sports fans, who are curious about rugby, to come and then while they are there really entertain them.
12 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
“Yes, the rugby has to be great, but all the other things that are important in American sports leagues have to be there as well. There has to be high entertainment value; there has to be music; there has to be things in the breaks to entertain fans; there has to be things for kids; and then there has to be things for you if you’re not so keen on the rugby, so there has to be good concession items. “It’s no different to any other decision you make on how to spend your ‘entertainment dollar’. When the family is sitting around the dinner table on a Wednesday night trying to decide what to do on a Saturday, we have to be the
brings their son or daughter to one of our matches and they ask the parent ‘who’s number eight?’ and they can’t answer the question, it’s a problem for me and we’re making in-roads there. “That’s not necessarily a traditional rugby path of wearing names on the back, but that’s how you become a household name in America. We need to develop stars so that kids can say ‘I want to be like them’ and we’re not doing a very good job of that at the moment.” Youth Development and Collegiate Draft MLR teams have made a major push in grassroots youth programs, which count
“The ‘rugby faithful’ are the bedrock of attendance, but we’ve got to get all these other sports fans, who are curious about Rugby, to come and then while they are there really entertain them.” answer to that question.” In the pursuit of achieving success in growing MLR, George is not afraid of making adaptations that steer away from rugby’s traditions. “One of my small pet peeves is not having names on the backs of the jerseys because I feel like if a mum or dad
for more than 50,000 youth players. With the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 season was abandoned after just five games and has given teams the opportunity to engage with local recreation programmes to teach and grow the sport of rugby in their respective market. “We have to continue to develop it from grassroots level, we need more kids playing rugby in the United States and Canada,” George affirms. “We had two of our academy programmes become fully sanctioned by USA Rugby last time around. [Now] Everyone is ramping up. I imagine every team in the next round will have theirs sanctioned by USA Rugby.” The first MLR Collegiate draft took place in June 2020 and was a first-of-a-kind for Rugby Union in North America. An entry draft is intended to prevent expensive bidding wars for young talent and ensures that no one team can sign contracts with all of the best young players in order to preserve the league’s parity. Major League Rugby's adoption of American sporting traditions in the allocation of players to teams was an important step for Killebrew and the league as it outlines a clear pathway from youth participation to the professional game.
“I was really curious how many Collegiate athletes would register for our draft,” George confesses. “I was hoping we would be able to fill two rounds, and then to go on and have 450 athletes register for that draft was very telling to me. I worked in the NBA for 28 years and that whole process from youth, to academy, to Collegiate, to having your name called at the NBA draft was really important, and we were missing that. “Now we have that and we are able to do two rounds, we will possibly [be able to] expand that for next year. To have that pathway is really, really important and I think we’ve made that giant step but we have to continue to develop that.” Expansion Franchises “Expansion in our situation, is not going to be as difficult as the example with the MLS of half a billion dollars to get in. You don’t need to have that in Major League Rugby. Our price point for entry, as such, means we can expand by a couple of teams a year no problem in my opinion, just because of that price point.
“We’re talking to about nine different cities that we’re not in right now – Chicago, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Honolulu and Miami, to name a few. Those are major cities for sports, and we aren’t even there yet. What we are looking for now is the right ownership group to come into those cities. We need them to be very well capitalised, we need to know that they’re in it for the long-run and that they can pay the bills and flourish. “As part and parcel of that, they need to have a great stadium. Right now, if you have a five to 10 thousand seat stadium in Major League Rugby, you’re doing OK – but what happens when we draw more than 10, 15, or 20 thousand. The other thing you don’t want to be in is a giant facility that maybe you can’t fill today, so the stadium plan in your market [is very important]. “Then we want good operators. The rugby is going to take care of itself because we are the only professional league [in North America]. Now we need people who understand how to operate a sports franchise in North America. We
need them to have executives that have done it before. We need professionalism. We don’t necessarily need the top rugby DNA, we are going to be OK there, that is not our problem.” Broadcasting model Although MLR is still in its infancy, it already has major TV deals with CBS and Fox Sports, who between them will broadcast around 34 matches nationally. The leagues finals will be broadcast nationally on CBS in primetime on August 1, 2021 – which will be no different to the NFL or any other major league in the United States. “That’ll be a landmark day for our league,” George remarks. On the other hand, MLR will be broadcast on both Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 this coming season, whereas before the league was only broadcast on Fox Sports 2. Fox Sports 1 has around 20 million more viewers than Fox Sports 2, which is another big step up for the league. Each team will also conduct their own deals with either local carriers or regional sports networks. U OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 13
THE PEOPLE'S PROJECT Sasha Ryazantsev, Chief Finance and Commercial Officer and Colin Chong, Stadium Development Director, discuss the economic impact of Everton's new stadium and how sports-led regeneration could lead the Liverpool City Region's post-pandemic recovery.
14 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
How will the regeneration influence the overall economic impact for the club and the city of Liverpool? Sasha: A new stadium is key to our future and is a key part of our longterm strategic vision. It will offer the club a platform for revenue growth from an increased capacity, a more diverse hospitality offer, new commercial partnership opportunities, as well as other uses such as concerts and events when the stadium is not being used for its primary purpose: playing football in front of more than 52,000 passionate fans. Our club has a rich history, a passionate global fanbase and a world class manager attracting young international talent. We need to be competing at the highest level, challenging for and winning major honours. While the stadium offers a range of lucrative commercial opportunities that we must grasp, it can also help us achieve our sporting ambitions by allowing us to attract and retain top notch playing and coaching talent, as well as making
the new home a fortress with more fans guiding the team to new levels. All this is in addition to the enormous profile-raising value our new stadium will provide to both our Club and city. Premier League football is watched by nearly a billion people every week in nearly 200 countries. Just imagine the visual shots of the first Merseyside derby at BramleyMoore Dock beamed globally, hovering over the River Mersey, taking in Everton’s new stadium, set within Liverpool’s worldfamous skyline. Working alongside our consultants we estimate that the project would deliver at least a £1.3 billion boost to the economy, create more than 15,000 jobs and, in a post-Covid world, attract 1.4 million visitors to the city. A stadium will not sit in isolation, it will act as a catalyst for around £650m worth of further regeneration as hotels, bars and other leisure and ancillary businesses move into the area. Local families who have members of
their households working on the stadium and legacy development will benefit from £32 million of income. Liverpool City Council could see an annual return of £2.1 million in Council Tax, while Business Rates income could yield a further £1.7 million per year. All this is before you begin to calculate the Club’s contribution to the social, cultural and heritage offering of our city. What new revenue opportunities will the new stadium provide? A lot of new stadiums are built for multi-purpose, how important are non-football related aspects of a stadium in relation to creating new revenue streams? Sasha: Before we talk about BramleyMoore Dock, let me remind you of the fact that Goodison Park has been our beloved home for nearly 130 years. Our record attendance, achieved over 70 years ago, is 78,000, and Goodison Park’s capacity has been dropping ever since, as we work hard to comply with safety and ➜
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 15
accessibility regulations. It now stands at under 40,000. While we are sold out for every Premier League home match, our current matchday revenue falls behind our competitors. I recently saw a report that suggested it would take Everton eight matchdays to earn what some Premier League clubs can in one. The new stadium will therefore take us into the 21st century and will boost all our revenue streams. The most obvious revenue opportunity provided by a new stadium is the increase in capacity.
considered our heritage, the competitive landscape in the Premier League, the socio-economic factors in the Liverpool City region, as well as the cost-benefit analysis. We also listened to our fans during our award-winning consultation process. As a result, our firm belief is that the new stadium has to be “football first”, with as much of the Goodison atmosphere recreated as possible, with steep terraces and proximity of fans to the pitch. We all know how important the twelfth man is to us, and this importance has only been
“The location on an internationally-recognised waterfront - coupled with the global broadcast exposure provided by partnering with one of the world’s most historic football clubs - creates excellent opportunities for new partnerships.” The move will deliver more than 13,000 additional seats. The location on an internationally-recognised waterfront - coupled with the global broadcast exposure provided by partnering with one of the world’s most historic football clubs - creates excellent opportunities for new partnerships, including, but not limited to, naming rights – something I know USM were very keen on when we agreed an option agreement in 2020. When designing the new stadium, we studied stadium developments all around the world and, as you say, a lot of them are multi-purpose compounds. We 16 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
emphasised through the period that we have been playing without our passionate supporters. I believe our venue will be unrivalled in the North, both in terms of a dramatic location and its facilities. How will the Bramley-Moore Dock Redevelopment and The Goodison Park Legacy Project improve the environment and benefit the local community? Sasha: Personally, I am passionate about the environment. I have visited various projects to learn what others are doing
about sustainability and we are working with a committed group of stakeholders to ensure a range of environmental issues are considered before, during and after construction. These include carrying out extensive ecological surveys before any work is done and ensuring marine life in the dock is removed before emptying the dock of water, putting in place flood mitigation measures to protect the stadium and surrounding area, ensuring that lighting systems are installed sympathetically, showcasing the heritage and architectural features on-site without causing undue light pollution, ensuring the stadium has excellent noise insulation and monitoring air quality during and after construction. We’ll also be building on the relationships we have developed with local residents to ensure an ongoing dialogue pre, during and post-construction. The reality is that the site is currently inaccessible to the public behind locked gates, is semi-derelict and on brownfield land that sits adjacent to a wastewater treatment plant and which suffers from anti-social behaviour. Our proposals will bring this decaying site back into public use while preserving and restoring many of the heritage features for people to engage with and enjoy in a way that simply isn’t possible now. We have been clear that we are not simply selling Goodison Park to the highest bidder to create a supermarket or unsympathetic housing estate. We are working with the local community on a range of initiatives including health, education, business start-up and housing that will benefit local people now and in the future.
This is Everton committing to the nonabandonment of an area we have called home for more than 140 years. This project ensures we are actually multiplying our presence - and with that, the positive economic and social impact that we have - across two major sites in Liverpool. There is a lot of thought and consideration that has gone into the sustainability and community impact of our developments. Although the formal period of consultation has ended, we will continue our dialogue with the local communities on how our proposals can provide the maximum amount of benefit for local people. With the growth of the digital world, how will technology be implemented into the new stadium and what role does technology play in the overall design of the new stadium and how will the club employ technology ensure a safe and secure environment for fans? Colin: Our new stadium will embrace cutting-edge technology to support and deliver the design and planning process - and then help deliver a unique entertainment experience ensuring the stadium engages with visitors in new and exciting ways to enrich the matchday experience for Evertonians. Throughout the whole design and planning process technology has been central. Our new stadium development is probably more complex than a traditional stadium build, as we are proposing to infill a dock. Working with our design team and consultants we have been able to use the latest Revit and BIM software to
understand how the infill stadium design to maximise could be planned and their impact and enjoyment engineered - as well as how for fans. We are currently we would best preserve the exploring the important role listed dock and dock walls technology can play as part under the stadium. This is of the matchday experience CAPACITY a sensitive and key part of in ticketing, hospitality and our heritage commitment security. to the site - in that if the Club ever decided to move What challenges does to a different stadium in the Brexit present and how will ESTIMATED COST distant future the site could this affect the importation be returned back into a dock. of materials? Technology has also Colin: The agreement of the helped throughout the EU trade deal has reduced planning process as we PROJECT COULD any anxiety in relation to have used the latest CFD DELIVER A what Brexit would mean for modelling to measure and our business. predict climate impact A trade deal means that and how best the design any importation of building and build of the stadium BOOST TO THE UK materials from the EU can will enhance the natural ECONOMY continue without the need sounds of our fans. We for additional tariffs. We have modelled how we hope this will help avoid MORE THAN can use the roof to reflect any delays and further noise that will maximise the disruption across the atmosphere. construction industry. The latest technology will PARTICIPATED IN The realities of Brexit, also be crucial as we look at LARGEST PUBLIC combined with the oncehow we can give the team CONSULTATION in-a-generation impact the best advantage we can LIVERPOOL CITY of a global pandemic, on the pitch. Our fans have REGION HAS EVER mean there will be other already indicated how they SEEN challenges that the want our new home to be a construction industry has fortress - and atmosphere to contend with. The full plays a major part in that. However, we’ll detail of those challenges to the UK also be looking at how our new stateconstruction industry will become evident of-the-art pitch could benefit from new in the coming months. Of course, there is innovations in irrigation, drainage, underthe potential for the supply chain industry soil heating and frost protection. to become strained - as well as shortages In the stadium, high-quality visual and price fluctuations in building displays would be integrated into the materials to manifest themselves. ➜
NEW STADIUM IN NUMBERS
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 17
However, this is something that will be monitored closely by our expert team and appropriate contingency put in place. What were the key benefits to the club in building a new stadium vs redeveloping Goodison Park? Colin: Goodison Park means so much to every Evertonian. However, it is clear that the physical and economic limitations of the ‘Grand Old Lady’ are holding the club back. Unfortunately, redeveloping Goodison Park isn’t a viable option. The stadium is landlocked, making redevelopment to a much-needed higher capacity stadium on the current footprint impossible without creating massive upheaval for the local area. This would have required the purchase of hundreds of homes, a number of businesses and a school - which simply isn’t an option for a Club so intertwined with its neighbours and local community. Building a new stadium at BramleyMoore Dock gives us an opportunity to secure the Club’s future while also aligning the design of our new home with our ambition and vision. A new stadium allows us to expand on the touchpoints of growth that we need – increased capacity, improved hospitality, new commercial partners and an iconic waterfront stadium to raise our international profile and state our intent for the future. Besides the design, what are the key differences between the new stadium and Goodison Park? Sasha: Stadium moves are emotional journeys for clubs and fans. There is always a desire to take with you the best a current stadium has to offer. But we believe it is also vital to create a new identity for your new home. In all the consultation we have done with our fans, atmosphere has been a really important factor. It would be fair 18 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
to say that some new stadia have not managed to deliver on this point. One of the key areas we have been working on is how we can keep fans closer together while also ensuring the sound reverberates around the ground like it does in older grounds, such as Goodison. One of the key differences for supporters will be the breadth of choice they would have at BramleyMoore Dock. We currently have a very traditional matchday offer for supporters at Goodison Park. A new stadium would allow us to create experiences, ticketing and hospitality products to suit every fan and every budget. For example, if we take our proposed hospitality offering, we would be able to take the traditional and formal offer our Seasonal Members may currently enjoy and supplement that with a variety of formal, informal, flexible and social dining experiences. Beyond this we would also able to introduce new concepts such as a Tunnel Club, offering an immersive behind the scenes experience and matchday insight like never before at Everton. Our design for Bramley-Moore Dock futureproofs the stadium for the potential of safe standing should legislation change in the future. Finally, I believe that there will be a good case for a change in the way fans approach the whole matchday experience.
Now, many of them come to Goodison only minutes from kick off and leave shortly after the final whistle, as there aren’t many opportunities to engage with the Club outside of the 90 minutes of onthe-pitch spectacle. I really hope that the vast majority will be coming to BramleyMoore Dock one or two hours beforehand and staying for another hour or so after, making it an amazing day out every time. There are many factors to consider when it comes to a stadium but how do you value and prioritise between things like, commercial benefits, fan engagement, improving performance on the pitch and sponsorship etc.? Sasha: None of these are mutually exclusive. A new, world class, stadium would mean that we would be able to combine all the different factors you are referring to, with a lesser need to prioritise one over the other. In fact, they will complement one another, with the end result hopefully being larger than the sum of its parts. Of course, the stadium is at the heart of our long-term vision, but we need our fans to remain proud of our performances on the pitch. And we need to continue to inspire new supporters around the world to follow us with an exciting international strategy, as well as attracting partners with our growth strategy – all of which will contribute to making the stadium a success. U
MASTER THE GLOBAL SPORTS INDUSTRY | UK CAMPUSES | ONLINE & GLOBAL STUDY HUBS |
Explore our range of online and on campus university degrees, executive education and professional qualifications in football and sport, with access to the most iconic stadiums worldwide. Visit UCFB.com/PSN
MALAYSIAN DREAM, GLOBAL FEAT 20 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
Premier Sports Network spoke with Razlan Razali, Team Principal of PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team, who speaks on unlocking the key elements propelling PETRONAS SRT, its stellar racing successes, and the team’s future.
No doubt, the desire for success is a critical pillar towards building a winning team. Perhaps it is this desire that binds each and every individual who staffs PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team (PSRT). Moreover, it is something that’s ever present right from the beginning, empowering the team’s successes in the grand prix motorcycle racing arena.
For the uninitiated, grand prix motorcycle racing (MotoGP) first came about in 1949, making it just a little over seven decades old now. Like Formula 1 to cars, it stands as the pinnacle competition arena of the motorcycle racing sport, boasting a global viewership of 400 million as of 2019. Hosted in circuits across the globe, it features three competition categories, those being a ‘junior’ Moto3 and ‘intermediate’ Moto2 classes, whilst a ‘premier’ MotoGP category sits at the very top. With the MotoGP class the ‘Division 1’ or ‘Premier League’ of motorcycle racing, success and glory is usually claimed by big time manufacturer teams with considerable resources at their disposal. Very rarely do smaller privateer – ‘Independent’ or ‘Satellite’ – teams such as PSRT thrive in such a space, let alone one as new with little experience.
However, PSRT has proven otherwise through both its PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (PYSRT) in MotoGP and PETRONAS Sprinta Racing in Moto2 and Moto3 banners in just a span of two years. As the team’s short but storied history in the sport goes, its creation and entry into the premier class was the result of well-timed opportunities that arose during the 2018 MotoGP racing season. Specifically, it was the vacancy on the grid prompted by the departure of the Angel Nieto Team at the end of 2018. From there, it didn’t take long before Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and title sponsors PETRONAS to come together and propose to MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sport
to form the first ever Malaysian team to enter and compete in this field. Central to PSRT’s birth was none other than the team’s principal, (Dato’) Razlan Razali. Though the opportunity seized by the 48-year-old former CEO of SIC in 2018 appeared timely, unquestionable here was his ambition in elevating a nation’s passion for the sport through this spearheading effort. “We were in the right place at the right time,” recalled Razali regarding the decision that prompted the evolution and growth of SIC Racing Team beyond its Moto3 and Moto2 efforts. “Initially, it was never a plan. Of course, eventually, one day, five or ten years later, the ambition was to have a MotoGP team, but not so soon!” added Razali during his opening interview in MotoGP’s “Driving ➜ OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 21
Success” documentary series featured on YouTube. “It was a new project and we started with a blank sheet of paper, and created this team from that. We created this team from scratch,” added PSRT’s Team Director Johan Stigefelt in the same YouTube feature documentary series. The Swede is one of two essential senior personnel responsible for running PYSRT, the other being Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg. Both Stigefelt and the latter Dutchman aren’t strangers to the sport, and their installation in PYSRT’s
sport. Beyond Malaysian title-backers PETRONAS, PSRT is supported by a global collective of partners that include the likes of utility firm WithU, motorcycle accessories marque Barracuda, safety shoe supplier Monitor, travel experts FlyMeTo, and much more. Despite its globalised staff, PSRT’s Malaysian identity remains strong, especially in the way it mirrors the values of the nation where its dream and ambition originated. The string of six pole positions, two fastest laps and seven podium finishes charted by
“It was a new project and we started with a blank sheet of paper, and created this team from that. We created this team from scratch.” top management stood as yet another masterstroke move coordinated by Razali whilst setting up the squad. Unified under PSRT’s unique ambitiondriven Malaysian dream and banner are the team’s six riders (two in each class) hailing from six nations, and the 60 plus personnel hailing from no less than 11 nations. Noteworthy is how this sort of diversity is replicated in all partnerships – commercial and noncommercial – forged by PSRT throughout its short existence. This is a sizeable accolade in its own right, and one rarely seen come to strong fruition in the 22 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
then rookie French wunderkid Fabio Quartararo during the 2019 MotoGP season arguably stood as a perfect mirror reflection of the values instilled by the developing and highly progressed nation to which SRT calls home. Quartararo continued his strong form into the 2020 season as well by claiming SRT’s first race win, before proceeding to chart two more wins. If 2019 was the year for Quartararo, then 2020 was the season where his teammate, rising Italian-Brazillian prodigy Franco Morbidelli, shone. SRT’s other rider and notable alumni of
Valentino Rossi’s famed VR46 Academy supplied three race wins plus five podium finishes. It all contributed to SRT’s 2020 tally of six race wins, as well as its back-to-back ‘Top Independent Team’ titles (2019 and 2020). On top of it all that was Morbidelli’s very own career best standing as runner-up in the 2020 MotoGP rider’s championship standings. This much success in such a short time has never been seen in the sport’s recent history. Think of it as if you’re watching a fresh and somewhat ‘unproven’ tennis player entering something as big as the US Open and score a place in the top five ranks only in the first attempt. Effectively, that was PSRT’s story in 2019 when it ended the season fourth overall in the Team’s Championship standings. PSRT would better that significantly in 2020 where Quartararo’s and Morbidelli’s combined efforts allowed PSRT rise further up the standings and classify as runner ups in the Teams’ Championship. Beyond MotoGP, this same drive for success is evident amongst SRT’s Moto2 and Moto3 riders as well. A prime example of this was shown by Scotsman John McPhee who led PRETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 charge in 2020 with no less than three podium finishes plus one highly deserved win in San Marino. McPhee’s resumption, as well as the arrival of new South African sensation Darryn Binder alongside him, sees SRT stand as a team to look out for in the Moto3 championship come 2021.
As for the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto2 pairing of Jake Dixon and Xavi Vierge, podium success has eluded them throughout 2020, but their competitiveness in the midfield is nothing short of exemplary either. They’ve both come close to scoring podium finishes and, in some instances, even led races. Vierge and Dixon would eventually end 2020 with their respective ranks of 10th and 18th, ensuring PSRT’s 10th place in the Moto2 Team’s Standings. Though the Briton and Spaniard undoubtedly have their work cut out still in 2021, it’s not wrong to expect both reaching greater heights with PSRT as the new season unfolds. Looking ahead to PYSRT’s prospects in the premier MotoGP class, things are poised to grow brighter following the arrival of nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi. Alongside his VR46 Academy student Morbidelli, as well as the support of Yamaha Motor Racing said veteran and the sport’s key figurehead is accompanied with, the only way for SRT, naturally, is forwards and further. Could this be the platform Rossi needs to capture his record tenth world title? Perhaps. Suffice to say, SRT’s unique position as a Malaysian team, one led by said nation’s values, desire for bigger achievements, and willingness to host a diverse range of people with the same drive, undoubtedly stand as the key towards its triumphs. Moreover, it is a winning recipe that it can call its own too, a feat so few in the sport’s history can proudly own. U OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 23
BRAND ACTIVATION SPONSORSHIP
Case Study: Manchester City Women announce partnership with Salento Creazioni Moda Manchester City Women have announced a partnership with Italian production house Salento Creazioni Moda (S.C.M.), becoming the team’s first ever global formalwear partner. This case study explores the objectives of the partnership, details on the activation and reports the outcomes. Objectives The heartbeat of S.C.M. is providing manufacturing for some of the world’s leading brands. As a business however, they wanted to develop and evolve their commercial business and the strategy they created was to break into the world of sport with the belief that using the power of football was integral to expanding the S.C.M. business. Raising awareness was key to achieving the next evolution of the business in showcasing their manufacturing, but most importantly their design and production capabilities in fashion. The products S.C.M. produce are already distributed around the world, though consumers do not know it is actually S.C.M. who have sewn, cut and ironed these products. To showcase their design and production capabilities, S.C.M. wanted to create a co-branded clothing range which would be available exclusively on a bespoke website that would showcase not only S.C.M., but also the brand they would look to work with to help the Italian production house achieve their goals. In addition, S.C.M. wanted to partner with a brand who were innovative, pushing boundaries and one that shares the same values of providing equality for all - hence the decision was made to explore the world of women’s football. The goal is to tell - through a customeroriented communicative approach – the brands innovative change of course, which is directed towards the continuous dialogue between the world of fashion 24 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
and that of sport, in order to fully satisfy the needs and requirements. of customers and fans. Activation To ensure S.C.M. delivered on their objectives through the UK representative, they engaged in discussions with Manchester City to see if they could explore a partnership which would be mutually beneficial. “During the initial conversations, it was clear we shared the same values and also wanted to create something groundbreaking and innovative in women’s football,” said Jai Chopra, Head of Partnerships for S.C.M. “The opportunity to create a unique partnership is one that was exciting and seeing the importance Manchester City place on their women’s team and their desire to continue to develop women’s football, we felt this particular category and Club could be a great partner for us to elevate the women’s game to the next level.
“We also believe that this supports us, S.C.M. – a family business – in our vision to expand ourselves into the market internationally, in terms of luxury production and elite sport.” S.C.M. first collaborated with Manchester City Women’s team at the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final against Everton in November 2020. For this historical match - which would see Manchester City win back-toback trophies in the competition – they dressed the manager and players with hand-sewn 100% Italian cashmere coats. Designed in line with the players’ feedback, each piece was tailored and personalised for each player. “The FA Cup was the perfect opportunity to showcase these bespoke coats of which a very limited number of these co-branded coats will be made available for purchase in March,” Jai asserts. “We are also preparing a special capsule collection, which will be worn by the team, for Manchester City fans which will be available exclusively on the co-brand e-commerce website, www.scmxmancity.com.” A bespoke piece of imagery was created for the partnership, bringing together the world of football and fashion, showing a visual walkthrough of the production for the garments the players wore at the Women’s FA Cup Final alongside strong imagery of the players. “Achieving brand awareness is key and we have designed and created a bespoke website and range of social media channels dedicated to the partnership,” explains Jai.
“Within these platforms, we will showcase the importance of equality which is at the centre of this long-term partnership and the collections we will be developing for the players to wear. “As the recently announced First Official Formalwear Partner of the Women’s Team, we want to provide the players with the best and this will be channelled through a variety of production, media content and marketing campaigns.” The co-branding between S.C.M. and Manchester City has certainly been a stimulus to merge together these two worlds who are although somewhat distant on the surface, share a lot in common. To mark the LimitedEdition collection, a photo shoot and a commercial were created to celebrate this collaboration in which the basic creative concept was “less is more”. The creative direction of the marketing campaign is driven by head of graphic
design Cristiano Rossetto. His approach aims to eliminate everything superfluous and focus on the essentiality of the project by enhancing the forms and its materials, throughout the SCMxMANCITY campaign, S.C.M. wants to focus solely on the essentiality of the players as women; extreme luxury is pure essentiality. In order to maximize the impact of the creative campaigns, the visuals are infused with a written composition, by creative project co-ordinator Kajal Chopra. The team wanted their captions to attract the fans - to speak directly to them and to get them excited about the journey ahead which S.C.M. will be taking them on, right from the beginning. S.C.M., together with Manchester City, wants to make its consumers feel that they are part of a passionate and large family. This connection is visible on their social pages where the remarkable attention to their players is clear to see.
The overall vision is to tell the story of a change of direction and innovation towards new market needs in which the world of fashion and sport dialogue combine to cover the needs of the customer in everyday life. During this partnership, together with Manchester City, S.C.M. aim to create a perfect synergy between the world of sport and fashion luxury. Outcome The co-branding between S.C.M. and Manchester City allows the Italian production house to blend sporting excellence with Italian haute couture, two apparently very distant worlds that however have a great deal in common: discipline, dedication, passion, class. S.C.M. will be taking the Manchester City fans on a creative journey where beautiful football meets pure Italian luxury. “We are exploring ways to connect with the Manchester community, and we are adapting our marketing and media strategy due to COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Jai concludes. “Throughout the season, there will be a number of special events where unique content will be created with the women’s team.” Initial social statistics showed that within 48 hours of the announcement of the partnership post from Manchester City achieved 49k likes on Instagram, 2.9k likes on Facebook and 223 likes on LinkedIn. U OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 25
ACCOUNTING & TAX
BREXIT’S FINALLY DONE: NOW WHAT? THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON ASPECTS OF TAX Tom Wilson at haysmacintyre looks at the tax implications for British sports organisations following the UK’s departure from the European Union. On 1 January 2021, the UK left the European Union. A lot has been made of some of the potential labour challenges to the sector, something I am sure many of you are currently dealing with as we head into the January football transfer window.
It will be interesting to see how the changing immigration laws and changes to regulation around recruiting under-18 players impact the transfer market. There are also a few key tax changes that all FDs should be aware of to avoid any unwelcome surprises from HMRC. Many organisations’ sales and purchases are generated exclusively in the UK, however, larger organisations with international operations have significant transactions and potentially complex tax arrangements after Brexit. With new rules around VAT, employment tax and corporation tax, it’s paramount that your organisation remains compliant with its new responsibilities.
‘postponed accounting’ for import VAT on goods brought into the UK: in simple terms, this means that UK VAT registered businesses importing goods to the UK will be able to account for import VAT on their VAT return, rather than paying import VAT at the time that the goods arrive at the UK border, which should speed up the receiving of goods. When exporting to the EU, any goods or services rendered will be treated the same way as goods entering from other non-EU
the EU over certain thresholds), you will still need to submit arrival forms at least for the remainder of 2021. Since 1 January 2021, you no longer need to submit dispatches forms. Furthermore, EC Sales Lists will no longer be required unless your business is located in Northern Ireland. One area where we have seen numerous clients struggle, is over ‘in kind’ sponsorship arrangements. Where goods are supplied, such as team kit, this is a VAT-able supply, even if no cash is
“It will be interesting to see how the changing immigration laws and changes to regulation around recruiting under-18 players impact the transfer market.”
VAT Regarding the importation of goods, the historic rules for imports from non-EU countries now also apply to imports from the EU, however there are some key changes. The Government has introduced 26 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
countries. This means import VAT and any customs duties are due when the goods arrive. For services, this will be covered by place of supply rules. Although relatively straight forward in most circumstances, the place of supply can sometimes be difficult to determine where a company is a multinational with multiple bases or if you supply digital services where the country of origin can be difficult to determine. If you submit Intrastat forms (historically necessary where you traded goods with
changing hands. This can be even trickier if the supply is cross border, now might be a good time to review your contracts in this area if you have them. VAT is notoriously complex, and I would advise getting some expert advice if this is a significant issue for you. Employment taxes Following the ratification of the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), protocols are in place concerning the social security arrangements for employees who are either:
• Being sent to work in the EU but are from the UK • Employees of an EU state employer who are sent to work in the UK under a secondment agreement The agreement largely follows the EU regulations applied in the lead up to 31 December 2020: individuals will only be liable to social security on earnings in one country. The general rule is that social security contributions will be payable in the country where the activities are carried out, often referred to as the country where the employee is habitually resident. There are special rules for employees who work in many different states across Europe, as well as for employees sent on secondment to work in another state. Multi-state workers As above, these rules will generally follow those previously in place before 31 December 2020. The multi-state worker will be liable to pay contributions in the state where they are habitually resident. This will be on the basis that this is where a substantial part of their activities is carried out. The general guidance applied by all countries is that ‘substantial’ means 25% or more of the employee’s activities. Where this is applicable, then social security of the country where the employer is based will apply.
Detached or seconded workers The detached worker rules will generally remain unaltered from those in place leading up to 31 December 2020. Where an employee is sent on secondment to work in another EU state, the worker will continue to remain liable to social security contributions in their home country. However, this will be on the basis that: • The secondment period will not exceed 24 months in duration • The worker is not replacing another detached worker. Currently there is no guidance as to whether the 24-month period can be extended. Prior to 31 December 2020 it was possible to obtain an extended period of coverage with the worker continuing to pay contributions into their home country system. We will need to see whether this point will be revisited at some point in the future. However, there is no guarantee that the detached worker rules will apply. This is on the understanding that each EU country must agree to apply these rules by 1 February 2021. Consequently, the position will need to be reviewed for each secondment during these early months of the TCA. Employers must carefully consider and regularly review the position for
any employees who are being sent on assignment either to or from the UK and the EU or work across multiple jurisdictions. Due to the international nature of professional sport, it may be possible some individuals, who work in multiple jurisdictions are impacted by this. Withholding tax From 1 January 2021, some EU countries may start to deduct tax from interest, royalty and dividend payments made into the UK. These income streams are unlikely for the vast majority of sports organisations, but again, larger cross border organisations may be impacted. You should check the terms of the double taxation agreement between the UK and relevant EU authority if you receive these income streams. The amount of tax deducted will depend on the double taxation agreement between the UK and relevant EU country. It’s possible to claim back some or all the tax you have already paid under the relevant double taxation agreement, but to do so you may need to submit a claim to the tax authorities of the EU country. U For more information contact Tom Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.haysmacintyre.com OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 27
BREXIT: THEY’RE COMING HOME? British sport will be profoundly affected as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union. Jon Goss, Head of Sport at Argentex LLP, evaluates the influence of Brexit on the free movement of athletes and how fluctuations in currency impacts the flow of money. With the UK officially no longer part of the European Union, British footballers could soon see their dream of playing for European clubs becoming a nightmare. In recent years, many young British players have enjoyed multiple benefits from moving to Europe. These have included increased game time, learning new football cultures and the reduced pressures of playing away from their home countries.
This freedom has also extended to movement, with British players enjoying the liberty to move to Europe with very little restrictions. However, new regulations following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union now means that the movement around Europe is slightly more complicated. Until now, clubs have been able to sign players freely if they are citizens of countries in the European Union or Switzerland, whereas those from other countries around the world have had to meet stringent rules. The departure from the European Union means that FIFA’s Article 19 no longer applies to clubs in England and so they are no longer able to continue signing young players from other EU or EAA countries. Similarly, this limits EU countries from signing British players under the age of 18; Had this been in force previously it would have blocked the transfers of players such 28 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
as Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham to the Bundesliga, who have noticeably benefited from the opportunities they have received in Germany. As for older players plying their trade in the EU, quota restrictions may put an end to their European dreams as each country enforces different quotas restricting the number of non-EU players they can have in a match-day squad. Spain, for example, only allows a maximum of three non-EU players, which could see players such as Kieran Trippier frozen out of the Atlético Madrid team for reasons beyond his control. If these complications aren’t enough to put a player off moving abroad, the final concern could be enough to convince them to stay at home: money! Before the Brexit referendum, players earning in euros who bring money back to the UK had to endure rates over 1.40, however more recently players have benefited from exchange levels of almost 1.06. The weak pound has been very advantageous for them. This improvement of around 25 per cent meant that playing in Europe had an extra financial incentive. Unfortunately, the benefits of getting paid in euros could soon turn into
disadvantages. Many financial institutions are forecasting that rates will start to creep back towards pre-referendum levels. According to some projections rates could rise to 1.20 by the end of 2021, and then higher in 2022. Slowly the value of euros could become less and less. Jon Goss, Head of Sport at Argentex LLP says “Players looking to move abroad should be aware that the financial markets will have a significant affect on their earnings. “It is important to realise how the volatile currency markets can impact every penny they earn. Players should always get independent advice when moving abroad as there are ways to protect against the devaluation of earnings.” Pete Hackleton, Partner at Saffery Champness LLP, noted, “Young players moving to Europe and back is always difficult from a tax perspective; being taxed in another country without necessarily losing UK tax residence (especially if only moving temporarily in a loan deal). It is crucial to ensure the player doesn’t suffer tax twice and receives credit for any tax suffered in another country. In addition, the potential complexities around work permits caused by Brexit could restrict the ability of young English players to move around on loan quite so freely.” U
SENDING €100K BACK TO THE UK Pre-referendum Post- referendum GBP VS EUR 1.4399 1.0635 AMOUNT RECEIVED £69,449.27 £94,029.15 EXTRA MONEY £24,579.88 For more information contact Chris Canning at email@example.com or visit www.argentex.com The information in this publication is for information purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or as requests to engage in investment operations. Any information or opinions on this publication were issued by Argentex LLP on the basis of information obtained from sources believed to be reliable but not verified independently. Views expressed herein are not intended to be and should not be viewed as advice or as a recommendation. This publication does not constitute or form part, and should not be construed as, an order to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any investment. Argentex LLP is Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales (company no. OC369106) and a subsidiary undertaking of Argentex Group PLC. Argentex LLP is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the provision of investment services, FRN 781077, and as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution, FRN 900671. OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 29
BRENTFORD’S STRATEGIC DIGITAL FOCUS With the ongoing global pandemic, the boom in social media platforms provides the sports industry with yet another stage to engage with fans and generate revenue. Premier Sports Network spoke with Stuart Wakeford, Head of Content at Brentford FC to discuss the changes in the club’s offfield operations and new digitally focused stadium.
30 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
When it comes to content, video is a big deal for audiences. It continues to be one of the most effective marketing methods because people tend to engage with it more. Not only does video content appeal to our appreciation of visual, but it is easily consumable. Referencing the creation of video content, the first site you probably think of will be YouTube and it’s easy to see why. YouTube is the second most popular website after its parent company, Google. It currently has over two billion loggedin users visit each month, and every day people watch over a billion hours of video, generating billions of views. Sports YouTube channels these days have become more innovative and engaging with their content, displaying highlights, behind-the-scenes content, giveaways, challenges and more, but EFL Championship side Brentford FC have gone one step further with the formation of two new shows of their own – ‘The Warm Up’ and ‘The Sting’ – which align with the club’s new stadium and strategic rebrand. The London-based side have recently undergone a transformation that can be projected both on and off the pitch. Not only are the team flying high in the Championship and chasing Premier
League football, but they have moved from their long-established home at Griffin Park to the Brentford Community Stadium, which has opened up an avenue of potential opportunities to exploit. The move sees the club change their off-field operations significantly. There has been a lot of progression and significant investments to bring new people into the business; Stuart Wakeford, a life-long Brentford fan and formerly a producer for Sky Sports’ Soccer AM, was approached with the proposition of transforming the club’s digital strategy
and producing content that would turn heads across the English football pyramid. “There was only one place I would have left my old job for and that was Brentford,” asserts Wakeford, who is now Brentford’s Head of Content. “Moving into the new stadium, which was a new and exciting time for the club, the initial conversation was around how the stadium has the highest quality screens in the UK and the opportunity to produce and create content.” The new stadium is the game-changer for the digitally focused club as it ➜
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 31
provides Brentford with the opportunity to create a platform for sponsors in terms of their activation and it creates an environment that more supporters will enjoy and want to visit. With six by 11 metre LED screens, the Brentford Community Stadium boasts the highest resolution displays currently installed in a UK stadium, though these have not had the use that the club would have anticipated to this point, with spectators shut out of sporting venues in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. “When the country shutdown, we knew things were going to be bit different and the natural thing was then to do a YouTube show in the meantime until
interviews with staff and players. The Warm Up is Brentford’s very own preview show that looks back at previous fixtures, reacts to team news and various light-hearted challenges, including a bush tucker eating trial! Meanwhile, The Sting targets young Bees fans featuring players, football masterclasses and insights into the club. Wakeford’s own experiences of being a young Brentford fan himself have helped influence the establishment of The Sting: “I don’t think there is anybody else doing a kids’ show right now. It’s amazing to have a specific piece of content that is targeted just for kids. I would have loved that as a kid growing up.
“Like everyone, I can sit on YouTube for hours and hours now. I can just sit there and click on the next video, and then the next video and then the next video. It’s basically TV for a lot of people these days. It’s where we consume everything.” we could get fans back in the stadium and do the big screen shows that we eventually want to do,” said Wakeford. “I think YouTube is unbelievable,” Wakeford begins when asked about the club’s potential with the platform, “Like everyone, I can sit on YouTube for hours and hours now. I can just sit there and click on the next video, and then the next video and then the next video. It’s basically TV for a lot of people these days. It’s where we consume everything. “With YouTube, I believe you can make fans. The amount of people who say, ‘I went down to my first game when I was a kid and I didn’t really care’ and then go on to become lifelong fans, you can do that now with YouTube. You can reel them in with interesting and engaging content and allow them to start to build an affiliation with the club.” The establishment of two regular shows complements the club’s existing match highlights and both pre- and post-match
“I think you will see clubs doing more content for kids in the future and I’m surprised nobody has done up until now. We’re a family club so it ties in with everything that we’re about. “The Sting is probably one of the things I’m most proud of that we’ve done in such a short space of time because it’s so unique.” Brentford may not be able to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City just yet on the pitch, but there is no doubt that the quality of the club’s video content ranks higher than its position in the English football table. “We haven’t got the budget they [Premier League clubs] have so we have to be creative. In some cases, we feel like that might work in our favour in being able to come up with unique ideas. It’s just a bit of fun. Football’s meant to be fun at the end of the day.” As with everything, measuring success is an important
32 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
factor. Despite it not being all-important as Brentford strive for success, Wakeford acknowledges that he can’t help but monitor the numbers. “Sometimes we create something that we’re so proud of and it isn’t always reflected in the numbers. It’s about trusting yourself, trusting the process and trusting what you are putting out and in time, it will work. “The Sting got good views for a club of our size, but we naturally compare ourselves to other clubs and actually I think we punch above our weight in terms of how many subscribers we have. For me, I take most pride in receiving positive comments about the content and that’s how I gage its success.” Wakeford went on to discuss how the new Brentford Community Stadium was aiding in the club’s bid to develop a digital audience and engage fans for longer than the 90 minutes of a football match.
“When I attended football matches, I used to get into the stadium close to the kick-off as there wasn’t much going on. Now that we have these high-definition screens, we can produce something that engages people and means that fans could come into the stadium an hour and a half before kick-off and be engaged and have fun. The opportunities are endless compared to what we had before.” Despite its history and the memories it holds for Brentford fans, Griffin Park was incredibly basic with just a handful of concourse screens for everyone to huddle around to watch highlights. Now, Brentford have screens positioned around the perimeter showing matchday presentation, while the various lounges are also fitted with screens. It provides an entirely different proposition to the resources the club previously had at its disposal. The world of sports media is ever-changing, and clubs
always have to adapt to the latest trend. Looking at the future, Wakeford sees an opportunity to grow in a variety of platforms, even in a world struck with COVID-19. “Another big platform we want to start, and grow, is on TikTok and we would also like to start a podcast. We have an idea for two strands of a podcast as well, which we hoped to have up-and-running before Christmas, but it was delayed because we wanted to launch it properly and not have to do it under lockdown restrictions. “We are in a tough period at the moment and it’s not as easy as it usually would be. Ultimately, we just want to create fun and engaging content that on a matchday, when fans do arrive, enjoy the 90 minutes of football and the whole day as well.” Furthering football’s continuing social media expansion, Brentford launched its official channel on the short-
form mobile video app TikTok in January 2021. Since being founded in 2017 TikTok has gone from strength to strength and now is the time for sporting organisations to truly get on board and reap the benefits. Brentford’s TikTok has so far amassed more than two million views across just three videos, while gaining over 62.3k followers, 7 million views and 979k likes, in less than a month as of February 3, 2021. The sustainability of the product has yet to be tested, however Brentford will certainly garner stronger fan engagements from Millenial and Gen Z audience by simply being involved in the platform. U Visit the official YouTube channel of Brentford FC: www.youtube.com/c/ brentfordfc Visit the official TikTok of Brentford FC: www.tiktok.com/ @brentfordfc
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 33
Mountain living: Why now’s the time to consider a change in altitude The scenic vistas of the Alps alone are enough to attract a multitude of investors and secondhome buyers, but for outdoor explorers, snow sports enthusiasts, and families that are looking for a high-quality lifestyle, the possibilities that come with Alpine living are endless. Team GB Olympic Skier Charlie Raposo addresses about the benefits of Alpine living.
34 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
Every year plenty flock to the glistening slopes of the Alps for a few weeks of skiing, but few really reap the full benefits that come with spending time longterm in the mountain ranges. ‘‘The best thing about mountain living,” says Charlie Raposo, Team GB Olympic skier who will this year be sponsored by Knight Frank, “is its ability to provide a better quality of life.”
Raposo certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to Alpine living. “What’s not to love? Waking up in the mountains to a sensational view, crisp mountain air, and a dusting of fresh snow; spending a few hours on the mountain skiing, or walking I may add, before returning home to start your working day. “In the world we now live in, where remote working is becoming the new norm, and to many companies, a requirement, I don’t see there being any better place to be.”
A common misconception that the Alps is best enjoyed only in the snowy winter months could see you missing out on the warm summers, high up in the peaceful sweeping mountainside. In fact, it’s during the summer months that the Alps really come into their own for trail walkers and explorers. Bright, sun-filled days accompany wild lake swims and mountain adventures, revealing the Alps from a totally different perspective. It is fair to say that the Alps are seasonal – but each season offers totally different opportunities, with the summer months far less busy than the popular ski season. Tranquillity, beauty and an abundance of leisure opportunities – the Alps are certainly one of the world’s top natural destinations when it comes to wellbeing and appreciating a healthy, active lifestyle. What does the Alpine lifestyle have to offer? If mountain sports aren’t really your bag, then topquality spas and wellness destinations are plentiful
throughout the popular mountain resorts, as are some of the world’s leading designer names when it comes to indulging in a little retail therapy. Alternatively, after you’ve relaxed and recuperated, take a wander along some of the less taxing scenic paths that wind along the mountain side. The clean air and abundance of outdoor activities offer instant rejuvenation and the much sought-after opportunity to take a step back from the churn of everyday life. For families, the Alps are an ideal location to put down roots, with a reputation for safety and some of the world’s most elite schools and educational institutions right on the doorstep. Raposo adds: “Whether it’s to maximise on precious family time and bonding over a passion for outdoors and the mountains, or whether it’s to focus on your own health and wellbeing, the change in altitude is only going to benefit a person’s quality of life. I truly believe there is something for everyone in the Alps.” U
LES GETS, FRANCES. FOR SALE WITH KNIGHT FRANK Whilst offering a traditional rustic feel, the blend of contemporary design and updated features make this chalet in Les Gets the perfect Alpine family home. Having been voted France’s top ski chalet in both 2015 and 2017 and with a strong rental history and renowned clientele, this property offers clients the opportunity to invest in either an extraordinary primary residence or a lucrative turnkey opportunity for a second homeowner.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE TO BUY IN THE ALPS? VERBIER, SWITZERLAND. FOR SALE WITH KNIGHT FRANK The convenience of ski-in-ski out does not go amiss, especially when accompanied by unobstructed Alpine views. This seven-bedroom chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, provides a combination of luxury, quality and comfort, offering the perfect base for spending time and entertaining family and friends.
To learn more about how to invest in the Alpine market during these uncertain times, call Knight Frank on +44 20 4502 7640 to speak with one of their Alpine experts.
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 35
Making the Right Move – Customised Support Makes All the Difference For an athlete without outside help, moving to an unfamiliar environment at a moment’s notice can be an extremely daunting—if not impossible—task. Ruth Lyons at Steling Lexicon highlights the challenges with relocating professional athletes and some important considerations for athletes making the move to a new city. With a record of managing more than 33,000 moves a year, you must see some unusual things. What’s one of the strangest requests that you’ve encountered? We were asked to move and place two fiberglass cows into the UK garden of the home of a very high-profile and wellknown individual, who had acquired these cows as a Christmas present for his family from the New York Cow Parade exhibition. We organised the packing and shipping, and we had a very limited time frame on Christmas Eve to deliver and place the cows while the family were out of the house. We are pleased to say that they were both surprised and delighted with their new arrivals when they opened the curtains on Christmas morning. You and your team have clearly juggled many challenges. Are there any that are unique to the sports industry? Athletes are typically making decisions and moving much more quickly than many of the other types of clients we serve, so we need to work at top speed and maintain even greater levels of flexibility. Most of them wish to keep their decisions and moves highly confidential too, while all the final details are negotiated and confirmed. To assist with this, it’s standard practice for us to sign a non36 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
disclosure agreement (NDA) and we keep the number of team members that the individuals work with at Sterling Lexicon to a minimum. Having our own equipment, facilities, and experienced team members in key global centres allows us to quickly adapt and adjust to an athlete’s unique needs and circumstances. If there is one thing that our professional sports industry clients can really identify with, it’s that much of the success of a move comes down to the right timing. This is
London to Brazil, but he was on temporary loan to a UK club. He wanted to send a large shipment, but the costs involved with storing his belongings for up to six months, further complicated by the fact that he would not be physically present in Brazil when they arrived, made that a cost- and time-prohibitive option. Instead, we stored his belongings in the UK until he was ready to make his next move. In another case, we were moving a player from the UK to China, but his goods could not be shipped until the work permits
“Athletes are typically making decisions and moving much more quickly than many of the other types of clients we serve, so we need to work at top speed and maintain even greater levels of flexibility. ” especially true for international moves. Often, the biggest challenge is seamlessly orchestrating events that need to happen in rapid succession, triggered by the signing of contracts, processing and approvals of work permits or settlement forms, filing of customs declaration documents for shipping personal effects and securing accommodations. To give you some examples within football, we were moving one player from
were secured. We ensured the pack was completed on time and stored his personal effects, arranging for the customs documents to be completed for him, so he could focus on settling into a new country and squad. Another player was travelling from overseas to the UK, and we worked directly with one of his family members to get everything in place to make sure he was happily set up – without putting any undue burden or stress on his relative.
“If there is one thing that our professional sports industry clients can really identify with, it’s that much of the success of a move comes down to the right timing.”
What are some of the most important considerations for athletes making the move to a new city or country? There are many practical and logistical imperatives when transitioning to a new location, dictated in large part by an individual’s personal circumstances. But some of the most important ones include: Care and Transport of Personal Effects Many of our sports industry clients have specialty or high-value items they want to take with them, and we work with them to identify those needs up-front, to ensure their proper and safe transport door-todoor, including building custom crating and packing materials if needed. We focus on the details, so our clients can focus on their new opportunities. Settling-in and Family Support One of the most important contributors to the success of a move is how quickly clients and their family members can adjust and feel at home in their new locations. We provide very customised support to match individual and family needs, from vetting and finding the right properties that suit their preferences and requirements, to advising on schooling for children. For one of our sports industry clients, buying a new car was a top priority, so our consultants worked with him to
bring him around to showrooms until he found just what he was looking for. Immigration For players who are moving across borders, it’s essential to know just what immigration requirements must be met in the destination location, and by when. Regulatory conditions can change quickly, so players will want to ensure they have monitoring capabilities in place to stay current with any developments or changes in their geographic locations or immigration status. It’s also critical to be fully in the know about any restrictions on the types of visa held, as well as stay on top of related expiry and renewal dates. For those players on loan to another club, this obligation may be increased with the need to remain compliant with conditions for both organisations. Of course, the pandemic has further complicated the process, so travel restrictions and quarantine times must also be factored into the steps necessary to secure – and maintain – proper authorisations. Driver’s Licenses Players and family members should keep in mind that they may need to exchange their home country or overseas driver’s license for one in the country of residence. In the UK, for example,
individuals are permitted to drive for up to 12 months on an international license, after which they will need to exchange their documents for a UK version, potentially requiring passing a driving test. These are just a few of the most important considerations when making a move to a new location or club. At Sterling Lexicon, we ensure all details are handled for every player’s move, so they can focus entirely on integrating with new team members and settling in happily. U For more information, see www.sterlinglexicon.com/premiersports-network, or contact our dedicated PSN liaison:
Ruth Lyons, Business Development Manager at Sterling Lexicon E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: +44 (0)77 6931 2434 OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 37
Major League Soccer Clubs Emphasise Player Care through Investments in Teamworks Technology Player care has been a focus point for professional sports organisations globally as they recognise the importance and value of supporting elite athletes both on and off the pitch. In U.S. professional sports leagues, particularly MLS, new franchises are prioritising player care and heavily investing in player engagement platform Teamworks multiple seasons in advance of their MLS debut. Teamworks, which provides the premium player experience by centralizing communication and internal operations for teams, expects these investments to continue as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and players and staff fluctuate between remote and in-person operations.
Averaging the addition of at least one new franchise a season since 2017, MLS has remained the United States’ fastest growing professional sports league for more than a decade. From the 2020 season through 2022, four new franchises will have joined the league - Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, Austin FC and Charlotte FC. The common denominator between clubs? All four franchises invested in Teamworks ahead of their MLS debut in order to prioritise player care and build a foundation of seamless communication and strong engagement between players, coaches and staff. Three-time MLS Cup winner and Inter Miami defender A.J. DeLaGarza spoke on his experience using the app during the club’s first season saying, “I love Teamworks for the transparency it gives me. With Teamworks, I see my training schedule for the next few days or weeks 38 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
as well as planned trips or competitions months in advance. Teamworks makes the experience easier and more convenient for the athlete by providing critical details and times directly in the mobile app so I know what’s expected of me each day and never show up to training unprepared.” As the MLS clubs hire staff and build rosters from scratch, the new franchises seek to establish innovative and streamlined processes for everything from player onboarding and paperwork to transitioning players across teams within the Academy system. When the clubs are operating at full speed, a player engagement platform then alleviates the barrage of information making its way to the athletes giving them one source of truth to reference for the most up-todate information regarding the club and training. Once they are given a Teamworks account, players don’t have to spend time tracking information down and can quickly get up to speed and integrated into the team’s culture. In reference to how Charlotte FC is establishing player care procedures, Sporting Director Zoran Krneta said, “The most critical aspect of an effective player engagement app is seamless, consistent communication and a sense of togetherness. We chose to invest in Teamworks not only for our first team but also academy-wide to put every player, coach, staffer and even parents on the mobile app so we are ensured speed and accuracy in our organisation’s
communication. From the top down, we are creating one cohesive energy that reduces outside noise and anxieties so players remain focused and distraction-free.” With circumstances surrounding sports still changing frequently, clubs need to remain agile and flexible to the current environment. Investing in technology early and establishing consistent communication from the outset, creates a sense of security and peace of mind throughout the organisation. With a player app and a strong team culture in place, breakdowns in communication are prevented from occurring when the unthinkable or unexpected happens. As Austin FC prepares for their 2021 MLS debut, Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said, “Teamworks is extremely effective in simplifying the logistics, coordination and critical communication of our team into one app. The app enhances our first team players’ experience, eliminating redundancies and giving each individual a centralised location to check their schedules and see all pertinent training information. With Teamworks, we have been able to answer questions for players and staff before they even have to ask. This has proven to be especially critical this last year as we have remained nimble to the fluctuating environment.”U
BEST PRACTICES FOR PLAYER CARE Over 100 professional teams around the world leverage Teamworks, including Chelsea FC, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Kraken, and eight of the 2021 NFL playoff teams including Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills. Whether kicking off a brand new franchise, transitioning to new coaches and staff, or seeking to streamline and update team processes, professional organisations rely on Teamworks to centralize the various moving parts surrounding professional athletes and provide them with bestin-class player care. Here are some of the key ways in which elite professional organisations are utilising Teamworks to establish safe, player-centric team cultures while navigating a fast-paced, consistently evolving sports industry:
CUSTOMISE PLAYER ENGAGEMENT Establishing a consistent, centralised location for communication between players, coaches and staff will help create cohesion and alleviate any questions or confusion surrounding where players need to be and when. Create CUSTOM GROUPS based on player positions, staff and business departments, or training cohorts to tailor messaging and reach team members with the information that is pertinent to them. Ensure the right players and staff show up for meetings or training sessions by communicating to specific pods such as goalkeepers, team captains, defensive staff, and more. Utilise NEWS to turn the static, locker room bulletin board into a fluid, electronic stream of updates and important information that is accessible on each player’s mobile app. Drive player engagement with an infinite feed of content by sharing images, sponsored content, announcements or links such as nutritional guidelines or workout videos. Each post can be targeted to specific individuals or groups. Automate REMINDERS for any appointment listed on the training schedule and send ALERTS for any updates made to the team or an individual’s calendar as you make the changes in real time. This will keep everyone in sync and prevent any breakdowns in communication.
ENHANCE OPERATIONS SURROUNDING PLAYER SERVICES PROTECT PLAYER PRIVACY AND SECURITY Teamworks partners with professional teams whose rosters include some of the biggest names in pro sports across the world. Maintaining the privacy and security of player information is of the utmost importance to pro organizations. Features in Teamworks are PERMISSIONS-based so team administrators can limit who can login and see player PROFILES. Further expand or limit a user’s permissions to only seeing specific profile details such as addresses, kit sizes or travel-related information. These same permissions can be applied to determine who should have visibility of each FILE upload, FORM assignment, and CALENDAR view.
Changes to the team roster and staff occur throughout the year. Having a clear onboarding structure in place reduces headaches for operations personnel and allows players to quickly acquaint themselves with a new organisation and team culture. Utilise FILES to share important information such as team rules, facility procedures or city maps. For new players, upload guides suggesting the best places to live, to get a haircut, or to eat to simplify their adjustment to a new organisation and city. The digital documents can be viewed at any time on a player’s mobile app. Gather player and staff consensus or feedback by creating surveys in QUICK FORMS. Customers use this feature to execute daily wellness questionnaires to assess player wellbeing. FORMS allows for the quick collection of signatures to acknowledge team policies, ensuring everyone has received and reviewed the necessary documentation prior to beginning workouts. Easily amass player contact information and addresses and have it uploaded into your centralised database of player PROFILES. OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 39
EARNING MONEY IS EASY, KEEPING IT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT It can be overwhelming to be on the receiving end of a financial windfall as a young professional athlete. Ben Smith, Senior Advisor at FLM Wealth Management explores navigating short careers and long retirements. For many professional athletes, the glory of winning and the agony of defeat aren’t limited to the field of play. The initial thrill of a multi-million salary can quickly turn into financial ruin if athletes are unprepared and inexperienced about managing their money.
In the 2019/20 season, the average annual salary for a Premiership Footballer was £2.94 million before tax, or just over £56,000 every week. This would leave £130,861 every month after tax. Despite lucrative contracts, it is no secret that many professional athletes end up bankrupt – as many as 60 per cent in the football world. There is a big stumbling block when it comes to the athletes and their finances. While sports contacts can be highly lucrative, many professional athletes have shockingly brief careers. The average person in the UK works for 50 years and is retired for 15 years. In sport, those two stages get flipped on their head; An athlete works for 15 years and may be retried for 50 years. That heightens the need for specialised wealth planning that will take an athlete from initial contractsigning through a potentially lengthy retirement, as the period of biggest impact (the high earning years) are so condensed. Furthermore, the years of high earnings tend to be from an individual’s early 20s 40 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
to mid-30s. How many people make great financial decisions in their 20s? Youth, peer pressure and an unfathomable sum of money can easily lead to overspending. Athletes who refuse to acknowledge that their future income is dependent on the next contract typically ramp up spending to a level that’s not sustainable over a lifetime. At FLM, we are keen to educate young athletes around the simple behaviours that they need to instil during their career to ensure they have financial security for life. I stress the word behaviours, as becoming wealthy is not just about earning lots of money, it is about keeping it and growing it in a sensible fashion. We also know that athletes are human, and that we need to encourage striking a balance rather than living to one extreme or another. Developing new attitudes about money There are few certainties when it comes to investing and growing one’s money. Investment markets will be volatile, tax rates will change and unimaginable surprises, such as a global pandemic, will come from nowhere to completely change the playing field. However, the one thing that can be controlled is the behaviours around how you manage your money. The amount you save each month, how you spread this across a range of asset classes, ensuring you don’t touch this money to enable it to grow over the long term and ensuring you don’t get
used to an overly lavish lifestyle which is unsustainable. These are all behaviours which with the right advice, can be controlled by anyone. There is also most certainly a difference between being rich and being, wealthy which is magnified in the world of sport. Some individuals who earn seven figure salaries have very little to show for it, as they have always prioritised lifestyle over truly becoming wealthy. On the other end of the spectrum, you can have someone earning £50,000 who lives within their means and invests sensibly over a long period who ends up with a fortune. The second is not particularly popular these days and you are unlikely to build a large Instagram following if you fall into this camp. This sentiment leads us on to the fact that so many people in today’s society make financial decisions based on anecdotes or personal experiences as opposed to sound logic or reason. For example, it is more exciting to chase an astronomical return with huge levels of risk, than it is to grow your money at 5 per every year. The former could leave you extremely rich, but could also leave you extremely broke. The latter will almost certainly give you the financial security to be able to enjoy life. There are not many social media influencers talking about this whereas there are a fair few flaunting a lavish lifestyle which, for the vast majority, is unsustainable.
Ben Smith, Lydia Koke, Ed Forsyth and Gemma Cottis
Maybe this is reasonable for some people - ‘seize the day’, ‘YOLO’ and ‘you can’t take it with you’ are all phrases we hear frequently these days. There is a lot of truth in these attitudes and life is for living. However, life is also full of unexpected twists and turns. Having financial security gives you options, it gives you the freedom to make choices, it gives you time and it helps you sleep at night. All of which, tend to become more important as we all grow older. Unfortunately, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ often takes front and centre stage in the world of sport. There is always someone with more money than you and constantly looking over the garden fence is a dangerous game which is unlikely to lead to true fulfilment. Despite lucrative earnings, it is not surprising that the stats around bankruptcy are so shocking. The concept
of financial planning in sport is still relatively young. For example, it is only over the last 20 years that earnings have considerably stepped up and therefore much of the industry is still learning about financial planning. A new investment playbook Wealth management for professional athletes can seem counterintuitive to the average person. As previously mentioned, a career arc in more traditional professions can span 50 years with employees usually realising their highest earning power the close they are to retirement. But for athletes, the high-earning years come sooner, followed by many years of little or no income. Investment rules are different in this scenario. There are no textbooks written on how to plan financially for a sudden drop in earnings at age 35 or more importantly, how
to plan mentally for this. Financial wellbeing is a big buzzword in the world of Wealth Management right now and as a concept it is vitally important. A recent study in the US found that money is the number one cause of stress and much of this may simply come from not having enough clarity or understanding about money. The solution is simple – clubs and agents need to work with talented, reliable and current advisers who can help educate athletes whilst working with them throughout their career. Advisers who can explain the importance of making a plan early and highlight the power of investing as well as discussing lifestyle management and ultimately avoiding the pitfalls of so many before. This education has to start from an early age, and it has to come from the right source. Making money whilst you sleep is a pretty cool concept and framing this as a desirable outcome is something which could change the mindset of many athletes. The problem is that historically, too many advisers talk tax, equities, financial markets, and such jargon makes it very easy to tune out. By using simple to understand modelling with clients we can help highlight the behaviours needed to have complete financial freedom for life, whilst still ensuring a lifestyle that fits the needs of the client. With the right approach, the tide could start to turn. U OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 41
WOMEN IN SPORT
UK SPORT LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME TO INCREASE FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN ELITE COACHING Kate Howey MBE, Head of British Judo, is one of the coaches acting as a mentor on the programme aimed at increasing the representation of female coaches at Paris 2024. UK Sport plans to more than double the number of Team GB female coaches from 11 per cent at the Rio Olympics four years ago, to 25 per cent for the 2024 Paris Games. The new leadership programme pairs six of the best female coaches in the UK with the next aspiring generation of elite coaches. Kate Howey, double Olympic medallist and now head of British Judo, is one of the coaches lending her support and acting as a mentor throughout the initiative. Kate is the only British women to have won two Olympic medals in judo, claiming bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games and
silver in Sydney in 2000, and is now head of British Judo and says the initiative is long overdue. “The aim of the initiative is to try and get more females into higher level positions within British sport, pairing six of the best female coaches in the UK with the next aspiring generation of elite coaches,” Kate begins. “For me, personally, as a mentor for the next nine months, I have three women shadowing me on various occasions to see exactly what it is I do coaching at a high level, so that then if they want to go into high level coaching they know exactly what it entails.
42 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
“When I heard about the programme, my first thought was ‘it’s about time’, as there is a lot of talk about diversity in sport at the moment, but there hasn’t been a big push on women’s coach in coaching. “Being a female in elite sport, it is quite difficult trying to juggle your home life, looking after kids and going away. It sounds like a really nice job, but it’s not so glamourous and I think that’s probably why a lot of females are not coaching at a high level because the opportunities are not always there. This initiative will allow for more women to make the transition from recreational to elite coaching.
“You have to be put forward by your national governing body [to join the initiative]. So even for your national governing body to acknowledge and put you on the course, it opens up some doors – whereas some of these doors have been shut before. So, by getting on the course, you’ve already got your foot in the door, and then through mentoring they can see exactly what the job entails and see what’s needed. “It’s a new world for a recreational coach because they have just seen grassroots level so now it’s a whole experience of what performance and elite sport is, especially working their way through it. It gives the➜
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 43
WOMEN IN SPORT
mentees a taste of what it can be and the initial recommendation from the national governing body has actually opened the door.” Howey asserts that an increase in female coaches should also benefit female participation in sport. “The whole Olympic movement now is about equal participation. It used to
So what else does sport need to do to get more women into sport? “I think in terms of participation we are doing really well. I think possibly what needs to be done is highlighting the achievements of what high level women have achieved. I think you could probably name off the top of your head a high level achieving female athlete but naming a high-level female coach
“When I heard about the programme, my first thought was ‘it’s about time’, as there is a lot of talk about diversity in sport at the moment, but there hasn’t been a big push on women’s coach in coaching.” be very male dominant, but now it’s becoming equal on who can get there. I think any child watching, whether they be male or female watch sport on the TV and that’s who they aspire to be. So the more females that are out there in coaching, the more this provides inspiration for younger coaches to get to that level. “I saw Neil Adams as a kid on the TV win an Olympic medal and that’s what I wanted to do. The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world and this is the platform you want to get to, whether that’s as an athlete or a coach.” 44 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
becomes much harder. I think the media could portray female coaches a lot better than they do.” Care for athletes has become increasingly more prominent across elite level sport in recent years and since Kate was competing. “The care of athletes has changed massively. Even to the point now that DCMS (the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and UK Sport provide funding so that we can actually train full time, whereas back in my day we
had to work to earn a bit of a living and then train afterwards. “In terms of support, we didn’t have lifestyle support, mental health support, we might have had a weight training coach but sometimes not. Now there are so many nutritionists, psychologists; there’s so much that athletes get nowadays that back in my day we didn’t. This is due to the financial input and probably because as a whole Britain has recognised how important sport is and how important it is to achieve at an Olympics to give the whole country a boost.” The initiative is just one of the reasons why Team GB are progressing as a nation and Kate agrees that the positive steps also influence other nations to make changes. “I think especially with the success we have had in the past as a nation at the Olympic games, we [Team GB] are seen as a bit of a leading light. We are leading the way, and everybody asks the question, why are Team GB doing so well.” As well as Howey, Paula Dunn (paraathletics), Mel Marshall (swimming), Bex Milnes (para-triathlon), Tracy WhittakerSmith (trampolining) and Karen Brown (hockey), will support other female coaches by observing them in their environments and develop understanding of high-performance coaching. U
Why are Wolves recruiting a Strategic Player Marketing Manager? Scott Sellars, Technical Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers, provides an insight into the club’s recruitment for a Strategic Player Marketing Manager to support player development and recruitment plans. English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers FC are on the search for a creative, talented and motivated individual to take up the position of ‘Strategic Player Marketing Manager’ for their Category One Academy and its associated teams. The role will be an integral part of the Academy structure for player development and recruitment plans.
“Clubs spend a lot money in development academies,” begins Scott. “I think there has to be accountability from academies to make sure they’re successful. Success for us is getting players into the first team, but obviously not every player will do that, so the next aim is to generate the sale of players into someone else’s team. The club strives to provide its players with the opportunity to play regular first-team football; whether that be with Wolves, in the under-23 development side, or on loan at another club to gain experience to be able break into the Wolves first-team or in some cases, offering a permanent transfer away. Sellars added: “There is also a sense of duty of care and doing your best for the player in terms of helping them as they come through the football club. It’s about
having somebody with that skill, knowledge and contacts to create the relationships and get our players the best opportunities out there. It’s about making sure that all the way through their journey the players are very heavily supported.” Players leaving on loan can often prove to be a critical stage for young players as they move into the final part of their academy journey, but Scott fears that this can sometimes be overlooked and not given the full attention it deserves. “That requires a specific skillset and a specific person to look after it. I think a lot of
clubs will do it through scouts, heads of recruitment or their Academy managers so it will be going on, but probably going on with a lot of people pulling together and individual loans managers trying to make sure that it’s done. “Our point of view is, we are doing it now to a decent level, but can we actually do it better and can we give our players an even beter opportunity to succeed?” Scott describes the effectiveness to which the support team at Wolves currently operates, by helping to shape a future generation of young players, however,
he recognises that this new position could improve their success. “We have a loan manager in Seyi Olofinjana, his role is to support, and we obviously have back up from scouts watching players and myself, so there is always a follow-up of the players. “I think the Strategic Player Marketing Manager’s responsibility will be, like other people, to watch the players but also to focus on the younger players in the Academy who aren’t out on loan and thinking about them. They will use their existing contacts and continue building relationships with other clubs and then marketing our players to them. Their job will also be to build up the players’ content, to really make sure the profiles look good and present the players in the best light. “It will work two-fold. Focus on the players who are not out on loan yet and what can we do for them to make sure that clubs know about them, having knowledge that understand them as players and we are making contact with clubs to say have a look at these players. “The next bit is the ones that are out on loan presently, still watching them and still helping to support them; their next step might be another loan, or their next step might be that we are going to go try to and find a permanent move for them. It goes across both parts of the journey.” U
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 45
LEADERSHIP ‘IN THE BALANCE’
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a phenomenon like none of us have ever experienced, bringing with it dramatic changes to how we live and work, and likely long-term effects that have yet to reveal themselves.
As leaders, it is natural that we feel ill-prepared to cope with challenges that come with no precedent; yet at the same time our teams will be looking to us for firm direction and calm – not to mention a little dose of ‘normalcy’. Our leadership response can be the difference between exacerbating a situation that seems chaotic and scary, versus creating an environment where our teams band together and channel their energies into creating something positive from the change. In order to support leaders on and off the pitch, Hemsley Fraser have brought together the industry’s latest research and insights, adding our own expertise, to offer concise thinking and practical advice for leaders. Our thinking has led to the development of six trait pairings, which taken together, represent an essential set of competencies for leading in a world that is rapidly changing.
Resilience and Focus An ability to show resilience when adapting to changing circumstances, while also being able to bring clarity to, and maintain focus on, complex and challenging situations. Resilience is imperative for all types of leaders in an unpredictable and fast-changing world. The pressures of unexpected complex challenges, coupled with the pace of change, means that the need to review and adjust strategies 46 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
quickly (often many times over) has become the new way of working. Leaders must adapt swiftly and move forward with resilience, as if second nature. The danger, however, is that leaders end up spinning plates and fighting fires but not making forward progress.
In today’s environment, our teams are not expecting their leaders to have all the answers – no one does. Pretending to know exactly what is going to happen will not instil confidence, and can have the inverse effect. Instead, have the confidence to admit what you don’t know, and to ensure
“It’s certainly not easy keeping pace with changing expectations, match disruption, or the fast-evolving sporting landscape, but leaders are expected to think quickly and move forward with creative initiatives at pace.” Therefore, the ability to bring clarity, seeing past distractions and being present in the moment is also essential for modern leadership. Vulnerability and Confidence An openness to uncertainty and emotional exposure, showing one’s humanity while practising self-awareness and being confident enough to inspire and empower others. Confidence is perhaps one of the more obvious traits people look for in a leader, but while this is not new in itself, some leaders may find their confidence lacking in a more uncertain and complex environment. Leaders must resist the pressure that comes with being ‘in control’ and be comfortable with admitting when they are unsure.
others understand the importance of planning for such uncertainties. Pace and Sustainability The ability to think fast and move swiftly, in a sustainable way. Being mindful to balance self-care, energy management and peer networks, for longer-term advantage. It’s certainly not easy keeping pace with changing expectations, match disruption, or the fast-evolving sporting landscape, but leaders are expected to think quickly and move forward with creative initiatives at pace. Leaders today can no longer rely on ‘old ways’ of doing things, but instead must find ways to move with greater speed than ever before. The leader plays a pivotal role as a master facilitator and energy driver for the
team. It is the responsibility of the leader to encourage new ideas and push forward the momentum. When the expectations and goals are clear, it’s amazing what can be achieved. But, balance once again is paramount, and leaders ultimately have a goal of ensuring that the team’s pace is sustainable. Empathy and Determination Being genuinely empathetic as a leader and truly listening to others, but driven to see things through – thinking big and taking bold moves as needed. Empathy is an essential part of building an inclusive team that celebrates diverse views. When each member of the team feels appreciated and able to contribute, it helps to create a sense of belonging. Demonstrating empathy can be a greater challenge as the pace of work increases, and the leader’s actions in this must be authentic. Pretending to care about an employee’s or player’s situation or viewpoint when the leader has already decided on the outcome can have more of a negative impact than not asking for their concerns in the first place. However, creating a culture of caring could wrongly be interpreted as ‘emotions first’. A leader who is overly guided by emotion may subconsciously
avoid choices that are controversial or confrontational, letting feelings get in the way of difficult decisions. Curiosity and Decisiveness Being constantly curious with a growth mindset – always learning and encouraging others – but able to make difficult decisions, and bring others with you, when it is time for action. Curiosity is imperative for leaders. Leaders must scratch below the surface, questioning everything to get to the ‘why’ of the matter, while constantly learning and looking for improvements. A new generation of athletes, hallmarked by their natural inquisitiveness and unwillingness to accept the status quo, will undoubtedly expect this from leaders. Yet, excessive curiosity, without balance, could easily lead to organisational paralysis, as teams become mired in too many options, delays in decision-making, or worse still, constantly changing priorities. Action and Inclusion Being a creative, purposeful and positive change agent in the midst of unpredictability, while also fostering an inclusive environment that motivates and engages others. Leaders must be a positive disruptive force, bringing
creativity and purpose to see and make the changes needed for the business to thrive. Leaders must also navigate the way through the discomfort that this disruption causes. Having the mindset to take action is critical, and takes considerable bravery. Even the most ‘stable’ of sports organisations have been impacted and challenged in ways that threaten their very existence. Leading, virtually or otherwise, through this change is not straightforward, and new challenges are always just around the corner. The ‘balancing’ act As with all things in life, balance is healthy. Inherent in these traits is a natural tension – a tension that can be seen in either the under or overachievement of any individual competency. These tension points can otherwise create adverse situations for sports organisations if left unchecked. Leaders must cultivate a sixth sense to determine when there is an imbalance, and adjust strategies in real-time to achieve the optimum balance for the situation, the team and the organisation; thus the success of the leader is ‘in the balance’ for any given time and situation. U To find out more about Hemsley Fraser’s approach to Leadership and how they can help you support your departments, teams and individuals visit: www.hemsleyfraser.com/balance
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 47
THE SCOUTING APP CAUSING WAVES IN FOOTBALL As a platform and global community for players, Ellevate football is designed for young and aspiring footballers to promote themselves, interact with like-minded players and potentially get scouted. Ellevate’s founder, Akshay Lugani explains the support Ellevate provides and the success story of Amir Feratovic.
48 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
In the UK 1.5 million footballers play organised youth football, only 0.012 per cent make it into the professional game. Even in the most advanced football markets some players will not get a fair chance of getting scouted as a lot of scouting is based on hearsay and personal connections. Unless players have the opportunity in a professional academy, it is very difficult to find and seek access to professional training and to gain valuable advice, guidance and tutoring in order to improve their game.
Notwithstanding, existing platforms such as Transfermarkt reduce the chances of ‘hidden gems’ getting the chance to sign. Everything is digital now and by numbers, very little talent spotting really persists nowadays with the availability of data at our fingertips, while the pandemic has also caused disruptions to the process. Ellevate is here to help players that fall out of academy systems. We offer all players a valuable source of education, insight, community, personalised training programmes and opportunity on and off the pitch and to help all users prepare for life in and out of the game. During the biggest pandemic this world has faced, the football industry has been adversely affected, with teams dropping their academies, players, and clubs falling through altogether. However, throughout all of the uncertainty a tale of miracles and manifestation has arisen.
Amir Feratovic, 18, is a budding young football player who began his career with Slovenian side NK Bravo. When the pandemic hit, it effected his team’s training programme and his chances of become a footballer started to dissolve. With the help of Ellevate, Amir was able to continue his personal training by utilising the Ellevate App’s functions such as skills school, drills and at home workouts. By posting regular content of himself, he was able to significantly increase his exposure on the app whilst marketing himself to agents, clubs and scouts in the hopes of finding a new club and agent. Fast forward a few months and Amir’s hard work and dedication has truly paid off. His silent adherent and guardian
angel, Dr Nusret Jashani had been keeping a close eye on him for months watching his content via Ellevate. This consequently led to Dr Nusret making an offer that Amir could not refuse – a new club, and not just any club… the coveted A.S. Roma. As a platform and global community that helps young footballers take their game to the next level, Ellevate, the revolutionary football network is set to make a huge impact in 2021. As PSN’s official aftercare partner, Ellevate is the next level for learning and development within the football community. U For more information contact Akshay Lugani at email@example.com or visit www.e11evate.co.uk
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 49
'YOUR DALY DOSE OF BRIGHTNESS!' England Lionesses duo Rachel Daly and Millie Bright have embarked on a new journey, as they look to use their platform as a way of supporting those suffering with mental health. The brand, named ‘DalyBrightness’ - a play on words of their surnames - fully epitomises who they are as people, seeking to bring positivity and happiness into people’s lives, alongside their work with various charities and mental health campaigns. How did DalyBrightness start and what was the overall aim? Rachel: It was the Wembley camp in November 2019, we were together on our day off and when we walked into the room where the rest of the team were the mood just seemed quite low, so without thinking I just said, ‘It’s your daily dose of brightness!’ and from there everything just spiralled on and we’ve never looked back since. We want to live and breathe our values as human beings and allow a safe space for ALL people to feel comfortable in their own skin. We realise that a lot of people struggle on a daily basis and have no escape and we wanted to let
our fans know that we have off days too. As we have evolved, so have our ambitions. The result of this evolution has been the creation of DalyBrightness (DB) clothing. We want the people who wear our clothing to feel embraced by the love, happiness, and positivity with which the clothing was created. We never want anyone to feel alone in this world. One of our main goals is to give back to the community and create change in the world. As professional athletes in the spotlight, has it been difficult opening up about your mental health? Millie: We’re obviously in a really intense environment every day, for club and for country. The pressure and the demands of you are so high and although we get a lot of support we still have our off days like everyone else. You have to put on a brave face and because we are both big, loud, bubbly people, when we do have a down day it’s very obvious. We’ve both been through our struggles ourselves and
50 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
we’re lucky to room on camps, because I don’t think without Rach I would’ve got through certain days and vice versa. We just understand how to help each other and have seen each other at our worst. It’s a powerful thing when you start reflecting and understanding what other people go through. People look at us and they expect us to always be bubbly and always be happy, but some days we have to have our poker faces on, and that’s the scary thing. Nobody even knows. We're just wanting to kick start everything now and make a change. What projects have you been working on? Millie: We’ve collaborated on a few big projects already and we’re always looking ahead to the next one. We worked together for ‘Act Your Age’, for Children In Need, and ‘Hiit Against Hit’ campaign for domestic abuse. These are all things we really believe in and we don’t just do things for the sake of doing it. We just want to give back, and I think overall footballers like us can give back more. We can do
“You have to put on a brave face and because we are both big, loud, bubbly people, when we do have a down day it’s very obvious.” more. We have the platform, we have the contacts, we have everything in our power to make a difference. We’ve always said that it’s just such a shame that people suffer and struggle to speak up, and people don’t have that outlet or support. We know that we’ve got a duty of care as professional athletes and that sometimes it’s just the small things, like a short video, that’ll help brighten people’s day. You have an exciting project being released later this
month; can you tell us more about this? Rachel: We actually have a new dance record releasing soon, called ‘As It Rains’, with DJ/Producer Ashley Wallbridge and vocalist Gid Sedgwick; which aims to raise awareness for mental health charity Ditch The Label. Ash got in contact with our agent after seeing what we were doing with DalyBrightness and we found we had a common ground between Ash and ourselves, as he has had his own struggles with mental health and is now looking to use
his platform for a good cause. He wanted to produce a new song focused on mental health to raise awareness for Ditch The Label, and we think it’s things like this that will really take off and provide a larger platform for supporting those suffering. We want to be able to give back through our platforms, and we’re excited for the launch! U To keep up to date with Millie & Rachel’s upcoming projects with DalyBrightness, make sure to follow @dalybrightness on Instagram. OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 51
HELPING SCOTLAND QUALIFY FOR THEIR FIRST MAJOR TOURNAMENT IN OVER TWO DECADES Scotland’s Head of High Performance, Graeme Jones, reveals how the introduction of the Kairos scheduling and communications platform contributed to their success and qualification for EURO 2020.
52 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
“Kairos offered functionality no other platform did, they came with a reputation for excellence, and they already work with clubs in all top four tiers of English football and elite teams across the globe, in various sports.” When Graeme began his first day as Head of High Performance for the Scottish FA in 2017, his department consisted of just one doctor, a sports scientist and a physio – there was no GPS and no data analysis. It’s been a long 23 year wait for the Scottish men’s football team. Memories of their last major tournament at world cup ‘98 seem like a distant memory. That’s why David Marshall’s penalty save against Serbia was so so special, they knew that they
had achieved something not done for over two decades. What were the key challenges when you took over the role in 2017? When I came in, things were still done the same way they were for a long time - there was a felt need to bring things to a new level, and the first thing for me was bringing in effective communication across all the staff and players. It might seem like a small thing but it is incredibly important, both when everyones together in camp or dispersed across the UK. We used to use printout
schedules, which quickly became out of date, and relied on WhatsApp groups that became unwieldy and messy. Why Kairos? Kairos offered functionality no other platform did, they came with a reputation for excellence, and they already work with clubs in all top four tiers of English football and elite teams across the globe, in various sports. The app is built for elite sport by elite sports people, and you can tell. Since we brought it in last October it’s made a huge difference, all the staff and players were immediately on board and we love it so much we’ve rolled it out to the women’s senior team, and hopefully the underage teams soon. What has Kairos brought to the team? All our events - from traveling, training, meeting, meals, physio and massage
appointments; it all starts with Kairos and it’s all live and accurate, and this brings confidence and in turn focus on the day ahead. The interface is really simple and intuitive to use as well, at any time I can pull out the app and adjust a schedule and everyone involved gets a buzz in their pockets. We can add COVID testing and certificates, add PDFs or videos to events, and players can book pre-defined sessions with the masseur or physio from their phone. It’s a really clever interface. And we obviously had huge success on the field, and Kairos played a key part in that. U For more information on how Kairos can help elite sports teams maximise their potential through planning excellence, visit kairostech.io, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021 | 53
Each month PSN will be promoting job vacancies across the world of professional sport. If you have a vacancy you would like to promote, please contact email@example.com. Partnerships Manager - West Ham United Location: London, UK Salary: £35,000 per annum Closing date: 17 February 2021 Legal Counsel, Procurement - FIFA Location: Zurich, Switzerland Salary: Competitive Closing date: 17 February 2021 National Goalkeeping Coach - The FA Location: Burton-On-Trent, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: 24 February 2021 Parnterships Executive - Burnley FC Location: Burnley, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: 24 February 2021 eFootball Competitions & Events Manager - FUFA Location: Zurich, Switzerland Salary: Competitive Closing date: 3 March 2021 Communications Manager - LTA Location: London, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: 4 March 2021 Brand Protection Manager - FIFA Location: Zurich, Switzerland Salary: Competitive Closing date: 5 March 2021 Coaching & Volunteering Manager - LTA Location: UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: 6 March 2021 Project Manager - Tennessee Titans Location: Tennesse, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing VP, Accounting - Atlanta Hawks Location: Georgia, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing
54 | OTFF ISSUE 14 ★ FEBRUARY 2021
Director, Mental Health & Wellness Washington Football Team Location: Washington, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Director of Premium Seat Sales - Chicago Fire Location: Illinois, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Head of Promoter Relations - Formula 1 Location: London, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Head of Sustainable Business - Formula 1 Location: London, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing New Business Executive, Commercial Partnership - Formula 1 Location: London, UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Account Manager, Europe - Teamworks Location: UK Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Coordinator, Marketing - San Jose Earthquakes Location: California, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Regional Supervisor - Major League Baseball Location: New York, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing Director, Player Development - USA Baeball Location: North Carolina, USA Salary: Competitive Closing date: Ongoing
www.premiersportsnetwork.com @SportsNetwork premiersportsnetwork
Stay engaged with sports industry news and insights on the latest across finance in sport and player care Visit: www.premiersportsnetwork.com/news
FOLLOW US ON
Premier Sports Network