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UEFA Handbook of Football Association Management (UEFA HFM)

The UEFA HFM is a unique handbook for all those interested in the management of national football associations. Written by renowned European academics, it offers an insightful mix of theory, case studies and expert interviews.

Programme overview

The UEFA HFM is an academic handbook best used as a detailed guide to understanding the managerial skill sets required to run or work in a football organisation. By putting into print the expertise of renowned international academics and sport experts, together with case studies and interviews, the book gives a comprehensive picture of football management off the pitch and also a clear illustration of the varying roles and responsibilities that challenge national football associations. The UEFA HFM is available in English, French and Spanish. National associations may request permission to translate it into their own language.

In addition to the UEFA HFM, the UEFA Football Toolbox in Football Management is an easy-to-use practical folder containing various working tools linked to important areas identified in football management. Initially based off the UEFA Handbook in Football Management, the toolbox has been specifically designed with leading experts to support people throughout their studies on the UEFA education programmes as well in their everyday work. The folder provides a concise overview of different tools, specific examples and as well the opportunity to develop tools to be implemented in football organisations.


  • Who Anyone interested in the management of national football associations
  • Price €40
  • How to order Contact UEFA at academy@uefa.ch
  • Language English, French, Spanish


  • a 360-degree perspective of the management of a national football association;
  • an in-depth and insightful explanation of the managerial aspects of football;
  • a presentation of the key managerial concepts needed to manage a sports organisation;
  • practical examples from football organisations across Europe.


1. National football association management: an introduction

Now in its third edition, this handbook offers a contemporary and comprehensive introduction to football association management. Fully updated and revised throughout, it is composed of six self-contained chapters. A number of illustrative examples have been included in each to highlight particular aspects of national association management, together with an interview with a professional expert working in the specific field addressed in the chapter.

2. Organisation of world football

The first chapter, The Organisation of World Football, provides a detailed description of the way football is organised in Europe and around the world. It introduces important organisations such as FIFA, the IFAB and UEFA and explains their unique and joint responsibilities. In other words, this chapter presents the football environment in which each national association has to function in addition to the national environment it shares with all organisations operating in its country (which is not dealt with in this handbook).

According to the systemic view of management, it is absolutely essential for an organisation’s management to know the various environments in which the organisation operates. This current and dominant view sees all organisations as open systems, transforming input into output through their internal processes, but strongly influenced by changing parameters in their environment. This first chapter therefore sets the scene for modern national association management.

It is authored by Sean Hamil from Northern Ireland.

Organisation of world football
3. Strategic management of a national football association

The second chapter, Strategic Management of a National Football Association, shows how a national association should set itself strategic objectives for the realisation of its vision and mission, which is, generally speaking, to promote and develop football in its country. These objectives depend on the national association’s external and internal environments, which first have to be analysed. They must then be detailed in an action plan that attributes human, financial and information resources within a given timeframe for implementation.

Strategic management is essential for any organisation nowadays, including national associations, as they evolve more and more in a competitive environment and have many stakeholders to satisfy. The second chapter shows how to tackle this issue.

It is authored by Mikkel Draebye from Denmark.

Strategic management of a national football association
4. Operational management of a national football association

In the third chapter the focus turns to the operational management of national associations. It is the logical follow-up to the previous chapter, as once a national association has defined its strategy in the medium and long term, the next step is to implement it on a daily (i.e. short-term) basis. This requires management of human and financial resources, using techniques which are presented in this chapter.

Customer satisfaction and design of service operations are also essential at this stage. Strategic and operational management go hand in hand at a national association, just as coaching and playing do on the pitch. In other words, it is not enough to define the right things for a national association to do (set effective objectives); it is also necessary to accomplish them in the right way (efficiently using the available resources to satisfy stakeholders).

The third chapter is authored by Antonio Davila from Spain.

Operational management of a national football association
5. Football marketing & sponsorship

Football marketing and sponsorship are the focal points of the fourth chapter. These two interconnected topics are vital parts of the management of a national association, in particular from a financial and information resources perspective. Marketing helps position the national association’s brand(s) in the relevant markets and sponsorship helps generate revenues through sponsors associating their brands with those of the national association. Football is arguably the sport which has used these techniques most, and several examples of sponsorship, licensing, ticketing and hospitality are presented here.

The unique nature of the sports product and its media rights are also explained in this chapter, authored by Simon Chadwick from England.

Football marketing & sponsorship
6. Communication, the media & public relations

Chapter 5 illustrates the importance of managing communication, the media and public relations within a national association. This topic is broadly divided into two sections: the first outlines the important role that internal communications can play in ensuring the success of external communications and the impact that public relations can have in developing a good communications strategy, while the second delves into the practical aspects of media operations and highlights the growing role that social media can play.

This chapter is authored by Raymond Boyle from Scotland.

Communication, the media & public relations
7. Event & volunteer management

Chapter 6 elaborates on various aspects of event and volunteer management manifested during matches and tournaments organised by national associations. Hosting events can be a unique opportunity for national associations to showcase their main ‘product’ – their national football teams – to their stakeholders. However, event management differs from operational management because events are one-time projects which have to be organised by a given date and for a specific period of time.

Sports events in particular have special characteristics which make their management quite unique, one of which is the inclusion of volunteers to help plan, stage and maintain the legacy of the event. Football events are much more than just competitions between teams and players. They can forge an identity and create solidarity, bringing people together, giving them a sense of belonging and contributing to the development of the host region. They have a short and long-term impact. Years of preparation are required to produce a few days of sporting celebration, but these few days can continue to have an impact over more than a generation.

This chapter is authored by Alain Ferrand from France.

Event & volunteer management

What our students and experts say

Jean-Loup Chappelet
"The Handbook of Football Management presents the main concepts to manage a national football association on both strategic and operational levels. It is the only such book fully dedicated to national football associations, with many examples taken from the field in Europe and interviews of UEFA experts dealing with the various topics on a daily basis." Jean-Loup Chappelet, Professor at the University of Lausanne and Editor of the UEFA HFM


IDHEAP, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
IDHEAP, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
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