ECA News

The second edition of the ECA Club Management Programme (CMP) reconvened this week at the San Mamés Stadium, home of Athletic Club, with a session dedicated to the topic of Sport Activities.

Following on from the first session on Leadership in Turin, participants gathered on 9th & 10th January in Bilbao to discuss how clubs plan their sport activities at both the professional and youth academy level. Looking at areas such as technical staff responsibilities, player development and recruitment, the session provided a well-rounded insight into the sporting side of running a successful football club.

Athletic Club President, Josu Urrutia, kicked off the session as he gave an extensive history of the pioneering club and welcomed participants to the club's state-of-the-art stadium.

The first of the two-day event focused primarily on specificities of the professional team, with session hosts, Athletic Club, providing an overview of the unique qualities of their club in relation to its football structure and objectives. Representatives of the eight-time La Liga champions discussed how the ideology and values of the club influence decision-making on sporting matters, giving the 43 participants insight into their approach.

Additionally, Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, CMP Scientific Panel Member & Professor of Managerial Economics and Strategy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), presented on game theory and strategic decision-making, highlighting their theoretical roles in sporting activities. In order to apply theories into practical context, FC København presented a case study demonstrating the organisational structure of football departments at the Danish club. Rounding off an intensive day of learning, a Q&A session was held, focusing on the use of technology and data analytics in the modern sporting environment with Sports Directors: Damien Comolli, John Collins and José María Amorrortu.

Day two, held at Athletic Club's Lezama Academy, included exclusive access to a coaching session from the club's youth academy technical staff. Alongside this, RSC Anderlecht, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain FC gave in-depth case studies, sharing knowledge on the physiological and psychological development of youth players, in addition to the emerging importance of technology in this area of a football club. The second session on Sport Activities provided a wealth of information on successful sporting performance and development, with which, participants put all they had learnt into practice in tailored group activities to conclude the session.

An extra session of the CMP will be held on 20th March in London, and will focus on the topic of Leadership & Innovation. For more information on the ECA Club Management Programme, visit its dedicated website: