Anorak News | Ball Skills

Ball Skills

by | 2nd, August 2004

‘THERE are predictable howls of derision this morning at the news that Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College is offering a degree course in Football Studies.

Dr Faria Alam, guest lecherer at Buckinghamshire Chilterns

But less of the laughter – organisers insist this is a serious academic discipline that investigates the inner workings of a multi-billion pound industry.

And the Times explains that, as well as spending a week with the Finnish FA, students signing up for a course in International Football Management will have to spend most weekends watching Wycombe Wanderers.

That is a fate that even the most die-hard Wycombe Wanderers fans wouldn’t wish on anyone.

However, courses in National Football Administration are likely to prove more popular – modules include Shafting Your Employees (Part 1: Literally, Part 2: Metaphorically), Shooting Yourself In The Foot and (for only the very brightest students) Organising A Piss-Up In A Brewery.

But how employable will those who graduate from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College with a BA (Hons) in Football Studies (Roasting) be?

Not very, according to a study published this week which says that job applicants are now having to demonstrate qualities to employers that ‘in a previous life may have resulted in canonisation’.

It is no longer knowledge or technical skills that secures a good job, says the Telegraph, but ‘personal capital’ – the ability to communicate, persuade, network etc.

Successful applicants need to ‘look good and sound right’; they should be ‘charismatic’; and will probably need to have been to an elite university.

The study, by Philip Brown (professor of social sciences at Carfdiff) and Anthony Hesketh (lecturer in management at Lancaster), divides candidates into purists and players.

Purists ‘have not woken up to the realities of labour market competition’ and believe that if they are good enough, they will get a good job.

Players, on the other hand, deliberately build up their CV by undertaking voluntary work, for instance or becoming debating society chairman.

They practise taking psychometric tests, take part in simulated group exercises and read books on how to answer difficult interview questions.

‘You don’t deliberately lie,’ the authors say, ‘but you’re economical with the truth. You don’t be yourself – you glorify things a bit.’

And you can explain why watching Wycombe Wanderers every weekend makes you a suitable candidate for a job in international football management…’

Posted: 2nd, August 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink