Advanced Certificate Program in Sporting Directorship

Advanced Certificate Program in

Sporting Directorship

Learn how to structure teams for impact, a resilient sporting strategy, enhancing value of sporting assets and comprehending financials.

Master the strategies you need to advance

Advanced Certificate Program in Sporting Directorship aims to teach critical skills needed to compete in changing football business environments, where leadership, innovation and experimentation are the keys to success.

Next-level knowledge

Equip yourself with the skillset that will be your competitive advantage

Learn from top professionals

Connect to profs who apply their expertise in elite football

Fits in your busy schedule

100% online - complete with your peers or at your own pace - up to you

What you'll learn

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

Les Reed started as a three-month consultancy role at the Southampton FC the third-tier club in 2010 turned into an eight-year stay at St Mary’s; during his time the Club had a tremendous sporting growth.

In this program, Les Reed will teach about essential points of implementing a resilient sporting strategy.

Learn with a network of like-minded people from clubs/associations like:

Ahmet Schaefer is the founder and CEO of Core Sports Capital where they manage Clermont Foot 63 in Ligue 1 as well as Austria Lustenau in the Austrian Bundesliga. Under his leadership, CF63 could achieve to promote to the Ligue 1 for the first time in their history, and the club made a remarkable profit on players sales in three years.

In this program, Ahmet Schaefer will teach about the most delicate points of leading a sporting strategy, and relationship between directors in the club.

Start making progress

Payable in 2 or 3 installments


This course is for..

This program will give a fresh vision for understanding the technical dimensions of running of a football club. And, you will learn effective ways to manage your teams within your responsibilities. 

Scouts/Chief Scouts
• Develop the practical skills.
• Design the winning strategy.

Technical/Sporting Directors

• Sharpen your skills with new ways.
• Leverage strategy in your work.

Club Executives

• Transform your organization.
• Get better players for a better team.

(Ex) Footballers

• Level-up your skill-set.
• Take a step into management career.

Student Success Story

How FOCUS programs helped Matt to advance his career

We’re proud to see our Foundations of Sporting Directors Course graduate Matt Johnson promoted to a new role as a Head of Recruitment for a Women’s Team at Portsmouth FC.

Matt Johnson
Head of Recruitment at Portsmouth FC Women
“The network, skills and workflow insight gained on the FOCUS Foundations of Sporting Directors Course has allowed me to obtain as role as a Head of Recruitment for a Women’s team.

Understanding how to build a successful recruitment team, create an effective workflow and work effectively as a small market club are all key learnings I will be taking into my new role.

I will continue to use the resources available on the FOCUS platform from the course to support me in this role and am in contact with members of my cohort regularly.“

Browse learning plan

This is a 8-week fast-paced program. Each module consists of weekly live lectures, case studies and discussion assignments on the community as well as insight stories and articles.

MODULE 1: Communication, self-awareness & leadership, structuring teams for impact

Live Lecture 1: Effective communication internally and externally.
> Lecturer: Anna Edwards & Dave Slemen, Elite Performance Partners

Live Lecture 2: Self-awareness and understanding its impact on leadership.
> Lecturer: Anna Edwards & Dave Slemen, Elite Performance Partners

Live Lecture 3: Building departments to build a high-performance environment within a club.
> Lecturer: Anna Edwards & Dave Slemen, Elite Performance Partners

Live Lecture 4: Selection and recruitment of performance, analytics/data, academy, and science and medicine departments.
> Lecturer: Anna Edwards & Dave Slemen, Elite Performance Partners

MODULE 2: Maximizing sporting assets: the academy

Live Lecture 5: Innovation in the academy infrastructure.
> Lecturer:
Gareth Jennings, Former Head of Technical Leadership at FIFA

Live Lecture 6: Innovation in the academy staff.
> Lecturer: Gareth Jennings, Former Head of Technical Leadership at FIFA

Live Lecture 7: Positioning youth players in the 1st team’s squad planning.
> Lecturer: Tommy Wilson, Director of Academy and Professional Development at Philadelphia Union

Live Lecture 8: Assessing and positioning youth players as a seller club.
> Lecturer: Tommy Wilson, Director of Academy and Professional Development at Philadelphia Union

MODULE 3: Building, implementing and leading a sporting strategy

Live Lecture 9: Forming a club’s sporting strategy.
> Lecturer: Les Reed, Former Vice-Chairman of Southampton FC

Live Lecture 10: Implementing a club’s sporting strategy.
> Lecturer: Les Reed, Former Vice-Chairman of Southampton FC

Live Lecture 11: Leading a club’s sporting strategy.
> Lecturer: Ahmet Schaefer, President of Clermont Foot 63

Live Lecture 12: Identifying needs and creating the structure to build a high-performing squad.
> Lecturer:
Francis Cagigao, Football Director at the Chile FA

Live Lecture 13: Loan management strategy
> Lecturer: Ben Knapper, Loan Manager at Arsenal FC

MODULE 4: Budget management, the FFP, wage models and wage distirbution

Live Lecture 14: Essentials of budget management. (1)
> Lecturer: Daniel Martin, CFO of RedBird FC

Live Lecture 15: Essentials of budget management. (2)
> Lecturer: Daniel Martin, CFO of RedBird FC

Live Lecture 16: Essentials of Financial Fair Play
> Lecturer: Daniel Martin, CFO of RedBird FC

Live Lecture 17: Wage Models and wage distribution
> Lecturer: Daniel Martin, CFO of RedBird FC

Stay inspired with an expansive library of learning content

As a member, you get access to numerous learning content focused on the biggest trends and challenges in today’s football world both on and off the pitch.

Meet your lecturers

Top professionals and industry leaders will help you to excel decisively in the technical areas of football club management.

Be part of a community of collaborators

You’ll join a cohort of ambitious, generous professionals who will help you grow.

See what our members are saying

Alfred Finnbogason
Icelandic National Player
I really enjoyed the Focus Foundations of Sporting Directors Course for many different reasons. It was short and compact, which is helpful to learn a lot of new information in just a few weeks.

I especially enjoyed the live lectures from seasoned professionals in the field of football at the director level which really gave an insight into the complexity and often randomness that has to do with football at the high level.

I can recommend the course for everybody that has an interest in learning about the sports director job as well as someone that wants to add knowledge and network to their resume.
Ross Dunbar
Deputy CEO · Shelbourne Football Club
The modern sporting director has to spin so many plates these days. From recruitment to scouting, to the academy to sports science. The Foundations of Sporting Directors Course offers an overview of all these specialised subject areas, with a combination of contemporary case studies and experts in the field.

A worthwhile investment in your career journey.
Terry Burton
Former Director of Football · WBA
I had been looking around on different website to take a Sporting Directors course and a friend recommended the Focus Foundation of Sporting Directors course to me.

I am so pleased that they did as this 4 week's course has supplied a wealth of information on building a strategy that covers Senior and Academy recruitment processes in depth with expert presentations from some top people who have worked in the industry for many years. The course supplied so much information with well-structured lessons with many relevant case studies. The assignments are thought-provoking and make you look at your own beliefs in how a successful football club should be run with feedback from your fellow cohort of students.

In all an excellent well administrated informative introduction to becoming a Sports director in football.
Richard Gunney
Former Assistant Coach · San Diego Wave FC
The Foundation of Sporting Directors Course was a very enjoyable learning experience. The course offers a good blend of live lectures combined with recorded content from experienced operators in the field. You are provided with good supporting materials and short weekly assignments that allow you to share thoughts with others on the course. The course provides flexibility around ongoing commitments and provides the opportunity to network with other professionals in the field from around the world.

If you are interested in gaining some valuable theory and practical insights regarding the work of a Sporting Director I would highly recommend this course.
Ellis Plummer
Scout at Manchester City
Super introduction to a career in the Sporting Director field. Something which isn't overly available at the moment, especially with this quality of experienced professionals.
Darian Wilker
Former Head of Performance Analysis, Orlando Pirates FC
Ingo Winter really does well to provide short intense lessons to further your knowledge and take key learnings for the future. The live lectures are of a high standard where you interact with professionals. The course content from Case Study and Articles were at a very high level, always complementary to each other, this paired with the assignments creates a great platform for sharing and learning from each individual in the group cohort. I would definitely recommend the Foundations of Sporting Directors Course as the networking and key learning opportunities are very valuable for all those looking to expand in this area now or in the future.
Nicholas Evans
Executive Director Growth & Strategy
The Foundations of Sporting Directors Course I found to be incredibly engaging and informative. The course was able to allow peer engagement to exist that was stimulating and thought provoking on a number of subjects within Club Strategic Operations. The quality of guest speakers who were experts in their respective fields added to the value of the learning journey as they shared real life experiences and provided insight into how their context was managed/operated. This course provides the opportunity to question previously held individual assumptions on strategic operating inside professional football, provide thought-provoking interaction and dialogue amongst internal and external peers, and puts focus on individual learning commitment.
Paul Mitchell
Managing Director, Siyavuma Sports Group
I really enjoyed participating in the Foundation of Sporting Directors Course. I met some great colleagues from around the world, from different parts of the industry, the group weekly chats we had were always interesting and informative. The lessons from Ingo Winther, were very informative, along with the various lecturers that we had from different areas of football. The course was delivered in a very laid-back manner, it’s lots of fun and very easy to fit around your daily work life, which was a bonus for me. I would highly recommend the course to anyone who is considering taking part and I myself look forward to participating in the next course with Focus Education.
Matthew John
UEFA A License Coach
I can’t speak highly enough of the team at Focus sports education and am so pleased I decided to study with them to acquire more knowledge on the business side of the football industry and the important role of a sporting director through their program. The material presented in the course is very professionally delivered, relevant, fresh and easy to comprehend. During the web conferences I thought the speakers gave amazing insight and was very open to share their experiences and vast knowledge of the inner workings of the industry worldwide. The course was incredibly informative and helpful and I enjoyed studying with people from all over the world. I would highly recommend their course to anyone who is looking to break into the sports industry or is currently working in football or aspiring to get a career in football. The courses offer so many takeaways and lessons that will be used in the future, I can’t thank you enough for a very rewarding learning experience.
Wilbur Lasrado
Football Strategist and Consultant
This helped me learn much more, especially about sticking to a problem and finding ways to resolve it. As a result, I have been able to explore new philosophies across different perspectives on recruitment and beyond. The course had excellent content strengthened by assignments that have added a new dimension to my thinking as a future sporting director.
Ekran Resmi 2022-09-30 11.14.24
Davide Igono
I was pleasantly surprised by the Sporting Director Course. The video lectures with Ingo were concise and very informative. I also liked all the live lectures. It is very valuable to get insight from those throughout the industry. I especially liked the live lecture with Ahmet Schaefer and Ingo Winter. I enjoyed the discussion with others in the group and I connected with some of the outside of the course.

Learn the technical dimensions of the running of a football club.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are included in FOCUS Sports Education programs?

FOCUS Sports Education programs offer a wide range of learning content. You will engage with your lecturers with live sessions and Q&As, participate in peer discussions, and enhance your knowledge with articles, case studies, and other supportive learning materials—all from your home or office.

How much do FOCUS Sports Education programs cost?

FOCUS Certificate Program in Sporting Directorship program cost 1250€.

FOCUS Alumnis have a special 20% off.

Early bird: get 15% off when you register before 31. January ​

Is there any installments option?

Yes, we make learning as much as flexible, also in terms of payment.

You can complete your payment with 2 or 3 installments with zero interest.

In case you’d like to register with the instalment option, please send us an email with below-shared information from you for creating invoices:

  • your full name as written on your bank account
  • your mobile number (with country code)
  • your address (please specify ‘street, number, postcode, city, canton/state, country)
  • your email address

Email to: [email protected]

Is there any discount?
  • FOCUS Alumnis have a special 20% off.
  • Each program has early bird discounts.
Do you offer any scholarship?
FOCUS aims to revolutionize the sports education; thus, generating well-rounded sport coaches and executives. As learning is more important than ever, a high-quality education must be accessible for everyone. We provide scholarship to 50 students every year who meets to our eligibility requirements. You can contact us via [email protected]
Is everything completely online?

FOCUS Sports Education programs are 100% online.

Will I be charged taxes?

Depending on where you live, you may be charged taxes in addition to your annual membership price. If tax applies, you will see it stated separately on your emailed invoice. Tax rates are calculated based on your location or the billing information you provided at the time of purchase. Should you have any additional questions about taxes you were charged, please view our Support Help-desk article on taxes or contact us at [email protected]

More Questions?

If you have more questions, please contact us. We’re happy to hear from you!

Email to: [email protected]

Let's Connect

Get in touch.

Do you have questions still? Write us here, and we will be in touch with you in an hour.

    Our new lecturer is Rodrigo Picchioni who is the Head of Analytics at Atletico Mineiro. We trust for many reasons that Rodrigo will give a proper lecture into how the department of data/analytics needs to be structured and make an impact for the club on and off the pitch.

    Rodrigo Picchioni headed a newly created analytics department at Atletico from 2021 on, they demonstrated their commitment to becoming a standard bearer in the region in the intelligent use of data to make better decisions. Prior to Atletico, Rodrigo worked as Director of Football Assistant at Red Bull Bragantino and in coaching roles in different countries.

    Aloys is the technical director of elite youth teams of the Netherlands FA as the key part of the football development department. He shapes the certification of the youth training programs, and he contributes to the guidance and assessment of the KNVB coaches. Aloys gives lectures in KNVB’s academy directors educational programs.

    Gianpaolo is one of top level legal experts in the intl sports business. He has vast experience in advising all range of sports stakeholders. He lectures in FIFA Diploma in Football Law, in UEFA Football Law Program and in Sports Management at the Uni. of St.Gallen. Previously, he headed the Players’ Status Department of FIFA.

    Mads is a writer and a football consultant, with experience as a coach and sporting director, and recently worked for Al-Jazira, the UAE champion as well as at clubs such as Brondby, at Guangzhou FC as head of recruitment, Shanghai SIPG as technical director. Mads recently published the book ‘How hard can it be?’.