Former Crystal Palace player and manager Dougie Freedman emphasised the importance of education in the modern day football industry during a talk with students at UCFB Etihad Campus.

Speaking as part of the Executive Guest Speaker Series available to students at UCFB, Freedman told of his career highlights and the hard work needed to reach the top of the management ladder.

Over two different spells in South London, the Glaswegian striker netted over 100 times for the Eagles, helping them to promotion to the Premier League twice. His playing career also saw him play for the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest.

His management career started at Palace in 2011, and he’s since had spells at Bolton Wanderers and most recently Nottingham Forest.

Freedman, who away from football runs a number of businesses and has done since his playing days, said: “Education is one of the greatest tools you can get as a football manager. Educate yourself and not just do your coaching badges, look at other industries as well to expand your brain. You’re dealing with not just chairmen but finance operators, commercial directors, the media – they’ve all got different agendas to put out.

 “The football world is now dealing with it by bringing in different sport directors and young people from an educated background from institutions like UCFB, and it’s very important for the manager to be able to lean on these people.”

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 Freedman went on to emphasise the importance of having knowledge of all different aspects of a business, whether it be a football club or not, to be an effective manager in the modern environment.

He said: “As a football manager you have to deal with 35 football players and 35 administration staff. It’s very difficult to deal with different egos and different agendas, so the more education and knowledge you’ve got in understanding them means you can deal with situations more effectively. For any young manger going into the football industry, I think to have any outside influence to help them is almost vital these days.”

 The weekly Executive Guest Speaker Sessions are part of UCFB’s unique Complementary Curriculum. Find out more here.

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