Congratulations to the thirteen PFA members who graduated from the LMA Diploma in Football Management yesterday, including our own, Fabrice Muamba.
Fabrice – along with twelve other PFA members – has spent the past year undertaking a part PFA-funded Football Management Diploma at the University of Liverpool.
During that time, they have developed their leadership abilities, sharpened their strategic thinking and gained practical insights into the modern practices of sports performance management. This allows the graduates to have a broad perspective of the challenges and complexities of the football industry.
FABRICE MUAMBA, LMA FOOTBALL MANAGEMENT GRADUATE
Fabrice was a much-loved player across the Premier League and Championship, having played for Arsenal, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers throughout his decade-long career as a professional footballer.
In April 2012, his football career was dramatically cut short as Fabrice suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup quarter-final between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.
There was an outpouring of support from the world of football, fans and the general public at large. Sadly, in August 2012, Fabrice announced his retirement from professional football under medical advice.
Today, we caught up with Fabrice, to learn more about his experience of education post-football and discuss his aspirations for the future with his Football Management Diploma under his belt.
Fabrice, congratulations on your Football Management Diploma! What made you decide to take the course?
I feel like you should always try to invest in yourself, not just in football but everything that you like to do. I enjoy football, but I also want to learn the business of football. This course has given me the opportunity to learn the business side of the game and also how to deal with people. At the end of the day, I’ve got years ahead of me, and I want to invest in myself and try to learn as much as I can. The course came in handy and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
How did the PFA support you – and the other members – in that process?
The PFA played a major role. First of all, to encourage me to participate in the course and also, they fund it – not just for myself, for everybody that took part. For me, it was a no-brainer; an opportunity to study in University. It made sense to go and do it.
Was everybody on the course a PFA member?
Yeah, we were all members and ex-players. Everyone comes from a football career, so you’re in a classroom with guys who love football, so it’s easy to communicate and exchange ideas.
How did you find being in education after a football career?
It was a smooth transition because everyone wants to be involved, in some capacity, within the football world. You are able to go into the classroom and not just talk about coaching but also talk about the business side of football. We talked about how as an ex-player you can benefit, get involved and improve your knowledge of the game. For me, that was beneficial on many levels.
And as a Football Management graduate, what are you looking forward to in the future?
I’m looking forward to exploring as many options as I can. Right now, I’m enjoying what I do at the PFA. It gives me a chance to share the knowledge and also to help young players see the bigger picture, and the importance of having a Plan B. You never know what’s going to happen next week.
Fabrice, hats off to you, sir! And many congratulations to the other twelve members who also woke up today as Football Management graduates!