What course are you currently studying?
I am currently part of the Football Industries MBA, hosted by the University of Liverpool Management School.
Why did you choose MBA study at the University of Liverpool?
I had to choose FIMBA. This is the only MBA worldwide with a focus on football
With more than 25 years of existence, Football Industries MBA has built a very strong network with executives in all the main football organisations in UK and overseas.
What were you doing before your MBA (tell us about the sector you worked in and what your role entailed)?
I have always been passionate about sports and football and chose very early to specialise in this subject. I graduated from the most famous Sports Law University in France (Centre de Droit du Sport de Marseille) with a master's degree, and since then have worked in different sports organisations on three continents.
My first experience was in media sales for “Tour de France”, the biggest cycling event worldwide. I was basically in charge of negotiating and selling the broadcasting rights of the event. Later, I founded my own sports marketing agency in Algeria and advised athletes and clubs in their sponsorship and marketing strategies.
I had the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of sporting events all around the globe: going from the Rio Olympic Games to the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2019.
I also had the huge privilege to be hired as the first advisor to the sports minister in Algeria, in charge of international cooperation and big sporting events. My last position before coming to Liverpool was in the field of broadcasting: overseeing and managing the whole TV production process of football games for FIFA and CAF (African Football Confederation).
What’s the best thing about studying your programme?
FIMBA is a tremendous opportunity for every person who aims to work in the football industry. The curriculum covers a very wide range of modules including Football Finance, Football Economics, Marketing, and Sports Operations, taught by some of the most renowned lecturers and specialists in each topic.
What also makes this degree one of a kind is the visiting lecturers that host every Friday. Indeed, on a weekly basis, we have the chance to meet some professionals from the football industry (Paul Barber, Scott Richardson, Rick Parry, Richard Kenyon) who share with us their experiences and answer all our questions (even the trickiest ones!). Those lectures also allow us to build and strengthen our football industry network.
How do the dedicated facilities in the University help you with your studies?
The study conditions in the Management School especially for MBA students are optimal. We have the chance to study in a dedicated building (Brett Building) with all the means and tools for learning and evolving. This space is available 12 hours a day and provides meeting rooms and interactive boards for the students.
The other big advantage is the fact of having a library open 24/7 with access to all the books and academic reviews specialised in sports and football.
What kind of support do you get from the MBA teaching team?
The MBA teaching team is very collaborative and helpful. They are always available for private meetings or coaching sessions, and very responsive through emails and messages. The lectures are also a very enriching space of exchange and discussion, the lecturers keep facilitating the debate and talks between students.
What kind of support have you received from the MBA Leadership and Career Development Coach [Bernie Lyons]?
The presence of Bernie Lyons is a real added value to this degree. Actually, I consider her as one of the main pillars.
Bernie is always available to help us. She is advising us during the entire process of designing and elaborating our CVs and cover letters. She is always innovative, offering new programmes and new activities like LinkedIn workshops, public speaking training, or professional testing guidance.
Bernie is always listening to our concerns and worries about our future careers and about life more generally.
What do you enjoy most about the whole experience (thinking about any trips or guest speakers and what value they have added)?
We had the chance to spend one week in Madrid, discovering and learning from the Spanish football model. The trip included lectures and meetings with La Liga, Athletico Madrid, Real Madrid, the Spanish Federation, and other Madrid clubs. Academies and stadium tours were also part of the journey.
This experience was wonderful, offering us the opportunity to discover a new football culture and to learn from one of the most efficient football organisations in the world. It was also a unique opportunity to meet very important members of the football industry and to expand our network. It is probably what I have preferred this year, nevertheless, the visiting lecturers and field visits in the UK are also a very important and interesting part of FIMBA (Anfield stadium, Goodison Park, Wigan FC).
How do you believe undertaking MBA study will help your career prospects?
Obviously, there will be a before and an after of this experience. Thanks to FIMBA, I had the chance to acquire a very wide range of knowledge and skills and learned a very exhaustive bench of information regarding the football industry. FIMBA has allowed me to meet and learn from football executives and leaders from all the most important organisations, and to build a very strong network in the football industry.
With more than seven years of sports industry experience, the mastery of four languages (English, Arabic, French, and Spanish), and the great knowledge provided by the Football Industries MBA of the University of Liverpool, I think that I am now ready to embrace an international development position in the football industry.
What advice would you give to anybody considering MBA study?
Don’t think about it twice, don’t hesitate, just go ahead. This is the key to your future success in the sports industry. FIMBA is the one and only MBA with a focus on football, worldwide. It provides the who’s who of football industry professionals and lecturers. Giving you the chance to be part of the strongest and most diverse football network.