BURNLEY’S ground-breaking University and College of Football Business has been launched.
The country’s first university of football, based at Turf Moor, will open it doors in September and a host of dignitaries descended on the club to see the new facilities.
A joint venture between the UCFB and Buckinghamshire New University, students will be able to choose from three traditional degree courses in the first year; football business and management, football business and finance and football business and marketing.
Mr Philip Watson, chief executive of the college, said: “The establishment of UCFB is in response to a very clear emerging requirement for increased standards of professionalism, operations and governance within the football world.
“We have established, for the first time, an institution which is entirely geared towards the multi-billion pound industry and the surrounding business environment, delivering graduates with the skills to walk straight into positions at clubs, governing bodies and surrounding industries.”
Life-long Clarets fan Alastair Campbell, member of the college’s advisory board, said the college could only bring positives to the town.
“It’s amazing that it’s all happened so quickly,” he said. “From the Burnley perspective I can see no downsides and only a lot of upsides.
“It’s great for the people of the town and for the club and will help with the bigger branding of Burnley.”
Lectures and seminars will take place within the adapted suites in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand and course leaders are hoping for an initial intake of students in the region of 150.
Former chief executive of the Football Association Brian Barwick, who is chairman of the college’s advisory board, said it would prove a “fantastic opportunity” for students.
“This really is a fantastic opportunity to learn within an industry which is newsy, dynamic and always growing.
“We have done a lot of research and a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen. Will there be mistakes in the first year? I hope so because that is what we will learn from but we will be offering these first students an excellent experience with real possibilities.
“The people of Burnley should be feeling a real sense of pride.
“This is the first of its kind in the country and it’s here in your town.”