Just wanted to share the fantastic day I shared with five teams of amazing youngsters as the first of the play-offs for the Premier League Enterprise Challenge 2015/16 kicked off at Stoke City FC. The competition involves teams of youngsters from 29 football clubs coming up with a plan to tackle a real life business dilemma faced by football clubs, set by executive chairman Richard Scudamore. This season the students are looking at how to encourage fans to spend more time at their club, not just turn up for a game and then leave. The teams each present their ideas to a panel of tough judges and a winner from each heat is selected to go through to the final in March, at Altitude 360 in London, hosted by myself with a lineup of well known faces as our judges. It’s a really inspiring and uplifting competition and the youngsters who take part get so much from the experience. The teams from Aston Villa, Leicester, Stoke, Swansea and West Bromwich Albion were a superb bunch – every single individual was engaged, focussed, willing to listen and learn and performed absolutely brilliantly. The lovely Shay Given, Stoke City goalkeeper made a surprise appearance and spoke to me about who inspires him, how he handles nerves and the power of football to engage youngsters. An incredibly successful and satisfying day with no real losers, but the team selected to go through to the grand final in London was…Swansea City, who gave a wonderful performance and did a great job of showcasing their ideas. Look forward to seeing them in the final….I’m off to Manchester City, Newcastle and Arsenal for the next five play-offs where we will find out who is going to join Swansea and compete for the title of Premier League Enterprise Challenge winners 2015/16.
Photos taken by Phil Greig greigphoto.com