By Rebecca Hawksworth

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez told UCFB students the importance of obtaining a good education to be a success in the sports industry.

Speaking to UCFB Etihad Campus students as part of the Executive Guest Speaker Series, the former Everton boss told students how he has used experiences from his different managerial positions to better his understanding of the game.

Telling students why a good education and the necessary qualifications are vital when trying to break into the sports industry, Martinez said: “In any role that you’re going to be involved in within football, information is powerful. It could be media, it could be marketing, it could be coaching… in any aspect of a football club the decisions need to end up with winning results. Those decisions can’t be gambles or hopes or emotions.”

Martinez, who has also previously managed Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, went on to give his thoughts on the need for managers to continue their education throughout their careers.

He said: “Football is an evolving business. At the moment it’s a business that on the pitch comes down to trends and different ways of playing. Any other department within a football club is exactly the same.”

The Spaniard added: “You’ve got these incredible deals from television companies that change the approach of a football club and all of the different influences from around the world. Everything is always changing so you always have to educate yourself to try and be on top of those changes.”

At UCFB, a number of degree programmes are on offer that cover many aspects of the sports industry, both on and off the pitch. Martniez went on to praise the institution, saying it was the perfect place for students who want to step into the sports industry and educate themselves.

He said: “I’m blown away by the professionalism and the thought behind UCFB – it’s a structure that I would send my kids to. The manner in which the programmes are detailed is very impressive. To have that variety, I think that these programmes and courses will fit everyone and that is exciting.”

Having progressed from playing the beautiful game to coaching it, Martinez ended his talk with some sound advice for UCFB students aspiring to work in the sports industry: “Find out what you’re really good at and what your passion is, then work at making it exceptional. That will always fit in at a football club.”