In my seven years working in the professional football industry, I’ve come to notice that footballers often unfairly bear the reputation of being self-centered. However, the root of this issue doesn’t solely lie with the players themselves. While some point fingers at players, agents, or their upbringing, a significant part of the problem and its influence can be traced back to the football clubs they represent.
The culture within many football clubs sometimes resembles the cutthroat nature of the TV show Game of Thrones, where personal advancement takes precedence, and backstabbing is not uncommon. “What’s in it for me?” often takes precedence over “Can I help you?” In such an environment, attacking others for self-preservation can be seen as a form of self-defense, setting an unfortunate example for everyone involved.
In my experience, many football bosses who are not true leaders fail to genuinely trust their club’s staff, and some are even ineffective, outsourcing most of their responsibilities while concealing significant mistakes from the public eye. Trust in leadership is paramount when working with people or hiring new talent, and there’s always room for developing trustworthy individuals on the job. These individuals are often football fans who are driven by their love for the game. Football clubs should consider adopting a similar approach, promoting from within rather than relying on outdated hiring practices for their executives. This shift would set a more positive tone, influencing the entire organization from the top down, all the way to the academy. It’s the club’s responsibility to set the right example for everyone.
Football’s foundation rests on hard work, teamwork, and trust. It’s essential that these values return to the core of more clubs, ultimately benefiting the sport and its communities. The change starts within the clubs themselves, and it’s time to nurture a more positive culture in the world of football.