The Structure of Professional Football Clubs

A typical professional football club has about 30 full-time players. Large clubs can have as many as 50 players, reserve players and promising young players with full-time contracts. The manager or the coach of the club often has the final word when it comes to buying and selling of players. The manager may also have a right to decide which players are going to play in which matches, what the tactics of the game are going to be and what substitutions may be needed.

Different coaches have different philosophy and approach to their job. Some believe in tactics and strategies where the players have to exist in a very strict pre-determined system. Others believe in managing their teams based on personalities of their players. Yet others stick with discipline and fear.

A coach typically has a supporting team of people known as backroom staff. The most important person in the backroom staff is the assistant coach, also known as the assistant manager. Bigger clubs may even have several assistant managers. Their role is to give whatever support and help the manager needs.

The manager typically has several fitness coaches. There may also be separate coaches for goalkeepers, defenders, and attackers. Finally, a professional team also has some medical personnel such as sports therapists and physiotherapists.

Club ownership varies from club to club and country to country. For example, in England, a club typically has one investor, company or is established as a public limited company.

The owner oversees the board of directors and is most often the chairperson of the club. The chairperson is the person with the most control and power of the club. However, the chairperson may also take a back seat and allow one of the directors or the manager to make important decisions such as looking after budgets.

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