Taste The Feeling – FC Coca Cola – Episode 2

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Episode 2 – The Vision 

So we’ve established what club I’ll be taking over. But what’s our final aim? How will we achieve it? What changes will we make to Antwerp now it’s been chosen as the first club in our empire?

The aim simply is to dominate football, with at least one team in each continent that’s at the very top of their game. Conquering Europe is the main goal due to the obvious financial benefits of having teams in the top divisions, so a fair few European clubs will come first until a club in another continent is introduced. We’ll start with Belgium for the reasons listed in part one of the series, and below is my first 5 season plan.

The 5 year plan

Once promotion has been sealed into the Belgian top division and maintained for a season (hopefully the first 2 seasons), then we’ll invest in another club. Portugal looks to be a potentially good option, however I think that’ll be the third club that we’ll purchase. Due to the amount of teams in the second division, it’ll be a hard ask getting out of it – so we’ll need to ensure a decent amount of quality coming in to ensure promotion doesn’t take an age. The quality coming in will most likely be from the other clubs we have that are deemed not good enough for their respective top divisions (although this is also dependent on squad quality and the amount of talent bought in).

I think a team in Scandinavia would be a good option. A decent amount of talent comes from there, whilst the domestic leagues aren’t filled with quality meaning it should be possible to rise up the ranks quite quickly. The countries available to me are: Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Due to the very poor domestic league and national team, Finland aren’t a good option. Leaving it between Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We’ll choose that later on in the series.

So our first 5 season plan looks something like this: 

  1. Revamp recruitment and back-room staff + push for promotion.
  2. Get Antwerp promoted.
  3. Keep Antwerp in the top division.
  4. Add a team in either Norway/Sweden/Denmark whilst pushing for a European place with Antwerp.
  5. Get the Scandinavian team promoted, definitely qualify for Europe with Antwerp.

The Philosophy

So we’ve established our goals and know what we want to achieve, but HOW will we achieve it? What will our underlying philosophy be? We can break this down into a number of “rules” that we’ll try to stick to, as laid out below.

Our clubs are a direct link to a company that we’re essentially trying to advertise, so we want to encourage similarities between the drink and what we’ll see on the pitch.. Of course being a Cola company, our target audience is most likely predominantly young, so we want to be signing young players whenever possible. I’ll be defining young as 24 or under – of course it’s possible that an older player may become available who’ll dramatically increase the quality of one of our teams, so I won’t limit us to only signing players who are younger than 24, but they’ll be the focus of our scouting and transfer policy.

  1. Focus on youth/players under the age of 24

We also want to be entertaining. If people relate our product to being entertained by what they see on the pitch, that will create a an almost subliminal style of advertising. So whether it’s via a fast paced counter-attacking style with plenty of transitions or a highly possession based game, we need to play entertaining, attacking football.

2.  Play entertaining and attacking football
We also want to be seen to be doing good for the local community, so a focus on the academy would be the answer to this. So upgrading the academy and employing fantastic youth coaches, whilst also giving academy products a chance in the first team would go a long way towards achieving this. I will also micro-manage training of the youth teams – more on this in the next episode.

3.  Place a lot of emphasis on the academy and youth teams

Despite being owned by a huge corporation, we are technically a separate entity from the rest of the business and don’t want to rely on huge cash hand-outs (apart from the initial investments which i’ll come to in a later episode) as that’s not a great business model and is no guarantee of success – as well as making the task a bit too easy!

There will be a lot of fluidity between transfers later on as we add more clubs, with players moved between clubs as seen fit with the transfer model we’ll be adopting will hopefully bring a huge amount of players into the clubs. Some will be a huge success, some won’t, but one thing is for sure – the transfers need to be funded. Since we don’t want to rely on constant hand-outs – the club(s) need to be profitable. This will be achieved mostly through player sales for players for players who have either outgrown us (since we won’t become a footballing super-power overnight), players who have no use in the current set-up or players who aren’t as developing as expected – or enough to sustain a career at any one of the teams.

4.  Be profitable

So to summarise, our initial 4 year plan looks like this:

  1. Revamp recruitment and back-room staff + push for promotion.
  2. Get Antwerp promoted.
  3. Keep Antwerp in the top division.
  4. Add a team in either Norway/Sweden/Denmark whilst pushing for a European place with Antwerp.
  5. Get the Scandinavian team promoted, definitely qualify for Europe with Antwerp.

Whilst our “rules” that underlie our management philosophy are as follows:

  1. Focus on players aged 24 or under.
  2. Play entertaining and attacking football.
  3. Place an emphasis on the academies and youth teams.
  4. Be profitable.

Episode 3 of Taste The Feeling will be next Monday, where I’ll go through the scouting master-plan that will form the basis of our recruitment.

Whilst you wait, i’d appreciate any feedback or any questions you have about the series (or me!) on my Twitter – https://twitter.com/From_The_Wing

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