Club'ing EU Style: Where Do I Start?

Photo: Dawid Szulc
Kick Off
No matter where You are in Europe, if You are not a team with over 10 years of experience, GFL, AFL or another Europe Bowl contender, You probably go through the same problems and ask the same questions.

I’ve been in football for 8 years now, for some it’s only a moment, for other’s a life time and for me? Well… a big part of my life, with a lot of lessons, victories and downfalls. From watching football evolving in Poland, to becoming the General Manager of the Wroclaw Panthers – the biggest football club in the country. Is it a success? I’ll leave that to You. 

I don’t find myself a world class specialist, but since I got the chance I’ve figured out I will share some thoughts and tips about running a team, that hopefully will make things easier for some of You. If I manage to help at least one team, I will consider this a success.

Where do I start?
It always starts in the same way “I have an idea”, “I want to do It, like they do in the movies” or “My mom bought me a football, so I need a team”. Poland is still in the moment, when teams are appearing on the map each year, going through the same things we went through and probably a lot more will go through the same road in the future. So how do You exactly start a team? Stop. Not a team. We always say in Poland, that there is a difference between a team and a club. Where is the line? A team can be a bunch of friends that play grab ass in a park. A club is an entity registered according to local law, with a board and members, which can compete in a league.

So You want to start a team? Ok. We can end here. Go and do it, but if You want to start a club, the road is only beginning. First of all find somebody who knows law. Some might say “yeah, smartass, cause lawyers grow on trees”. No they don’t, but if You already have 20 guys on the team and do some networking You will find somebody, if You have bad luck and You don’t, do some research. I bet You have an organization in Your town, which can help with consulting, registering Your team and help with accounting. Surprise. Often they do it for free, especially if You want to be an NGO, which is a good move in the beginning of Your organization.

There is also another option. Networking between the clubs. If You have other clubs and know anyone on them (unless You are a guy, who want to start he’s own team, cause he good kicked out of an older one, then just don’t do it and stay home) ask, call, e-mail or even tweet them and ask for help. To more experienced clubs: Help Your younger friends, think about the road You went through and think that You can make somebodies life easier. It will pay off in the future!

Got a name? Think twice before You pick it.
Some countries have so many teams, that it’s really hard to find a free “football” name. You will definitely also hear voices, that Your team name being in English is a profanation. Well, it’s hard to say who started this tradition, but all over the world most of the teams are named in English, so get over it!

Let’s get down to the point. First of all do some research, find out what is so special and unique about Your area that might be a name that everyone will recognize. Then check if another team in Your town doesn’t have it (believe me this come in handy). If You later find out, that there already is a team with the same name in your country? Well, just thing how many “Real’s” and “United’s” You can find in soccer.

With a name there must come a logo. Be smart. Design something that is not a copy of another team’s branding. Think about the colors of the logo, because they will become You’re team, uniform and merchandise colors.

As a person working in marketing I can give You another hint. Don’t make the logo too complex and having to many colors. Why? Because later on You will find out how expensive it is to put it on helmets, clothing and to use it in other areas of You work. Plus a good logo is always easy, just think about the top companies, that run the world.

Ok. So You have a name, a logo and You’re paperwork is in process? Next stop – Try outs and that will be the topic on the next chapter of my blog.

Kuba Glogowski