Football is the world’s most popular sport. Its power lies in its ability to promote national unity, identity, and pride. It is also often extremely efficient in conveying a country’s values internationally through football teams and athletes.
Football clubs recognize the importance of their home country as integral to their success and potential international presence. Clubs are continuously working to attract and raise the best athletes, upgrade their facilities and increase their attractiveness.
Raising a homegrown player contributes to national pride as a population can identify with this specific athlete. Yet, raising homegrown players may be challenging for many reasons, some of which are:
- Significance of successfully producing players through clubs’ own academies
- Absence of expertise and competencies to train and groom a player
- Relatively high cost and effort
Selective alliances between football clubs are a solution to transfer competencies and efficiently raise homegrown players without giving up their national identity. National identity is not only valuable for local population but for foreign fans too.
A club seeking to raise homegrown players may benefit from:
- Getting the know-how of the Academy in terms of expertise, experience, and education
- Developing a scouting and teaching program from scratch to the top adapted to the club’s environment
- Enhancing marketing and merchandising, key cornerstones for success
On the other hand, the club transferring skills would develop a Scouting and Teaching program from scratch adapted to its partner club’s identity and environment while benefiting from :
- Accessing the most talented players in another country either through transfer or loan
- Penetrating new markets facilitated through the partnership, a soft way for the commercial and marketing outreach
- Getting an affiliate club to loan players
Today, for clubs looking to develop and raise their homegrown players, alliances have proven to be the most efficient. Depending on the importance of the clubs, their cities, sponsors, and government policies, alliances between clubs may be expanded to build and strengthen political and economic ties between cities and countries.