Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein: ‘Having passion for football is vital’
From the pitch to the stands football is a passionate sport that finds a way to get under the skin of thousands of people every weekend.
That passion is equally as important when working within the football industry and is a major factor when hiring for one former Premier League heavyweight.
David Dein spent over 20 years as vice-chairman at Arsenal and was the man responsible for hiring Arsene Wenger and the club’s success around the turn of the century. Since leaving the club in 2007, Dein has been a worldwide ambassador for the Premier League, a league he was instrumental in setting up in 1992.
During his talk with UCFB Wembley students as part of the Executive Guest Speaker Series, Dein was adamant that passion for the game is vital for employees.
He said: “When I was hiring at Arsenal, the first thing I’d always look at would be ‘do they love the game and do they really want to work within it or is just another job?’ If it’s just another job, I wouldn’t employ them. I want somebody who has the game in their heart and their soul. It’s a living organism, you live and breathe it.”
Dein added: “They don’t need to be a fan of the club but they must be a fan of the game. I like to employ people who have an objective, who are determined and have vision and fire in their belly, who want to progress.”
A spell on the board of The Football Association saw Dein become an influential figure at international level, and it was during his time there that Dein was heavily involved in the hiring of Sven Goran-Erikson, England’s first foreign manager.
UCFB has always championed the importance of students understanding the game on the pitch and in the boardroom, a point Dein enforced during his talk.
He said: “I employed people straight from education at Arsenal who are still at the club. There are great opportunities in football. Clubs are expanding in every department, whether it’s marketing, commercial, the box office or legal. The game is getting bigger. Clubs like Spurs, Everton, Chelsea and recently West Ham are all getting new stadiums. The game isn’t shrinking.”