Being a football executive is a dream for many but a reality for a few. How do you become a football executive and what skills and experiences do you need to succeed?

The Association of Sporting Directors (ASD) have launched a unique, first-of-its-kind certified knowledge exchange programme providing critical insights into football and sports leadership for those ready to take the next step on their career journey.

It’s called ASDX.

We sat down with Dr Alex Bond from Leeds Beckett University and the Head of Knowledge Exchange at the Association of Sporting Directors to learn more.


Tell us about ASDX and the course you’ve developed.

At the ASD, we have worked tirelessly to support, connect, and develop our 800+ global members in their leadership roles. The ASDX programme is our first offering to expand that vision to those leaders beyond our membership, such as aspiring sports leaders and executives looking to advance their careers.

As an academic, I learn from and with industry to inform and support as much as possible. Over the years of supporting and researching the Sporting Director role, it became apparent that the lessons and experiences of Sporting Directors can help assist and develop future leaders in football, sport and business, indeed anyone interested in learning and progressing.


What is the main purpose of the ASD X programme?

Given the limited opportunities to access affordable critical insights from leaders, ASDX aims to provide honest and authentic insights from Sporting Directors, underpinned by leading academic research, to inform aspiring and current leaders in their continuing professional development. We hope to engage a broader range of multi-disciplinary practitioners, such as coaches and sports scientists, to colleagues in commercial and media roles who want to learn more from Sporting Directors and how to deliver successful outcomes for their football clubs.

That said, the topics and insights included in the programme have lessons beyond football and sports, reflecting the everyday challenges leaders face in business.


Who is the programme designed for?

The course is designed for anyone interested to learn from leaders in a challenging and complex environment. It is appropriate for a range of people;

  • Students who are aspiring to work in the football industry
  • Those within the football industry looking to advance their career
  • Football executives looking for CPD opportunities
  • Any executives interested in understanding the lessons they can learn from football


What to Expect from the ASDX Programme?

ASDX is a 12-month online certified professional development programme developed and delivered by leading Sporting Directors. The programme is endorsed and certified by the ASD, and delivery is underpinned by academic theory and concepts alongside cutting-edge applied insights. You can also expect to:

  • Gain Unparalleled Insights: Delve into the demanding world of elite football leadership and acquire unique perspectives from experienced Sporting Directors and football executives.


  • Learn from the Best: Benefit from the wisdom of seasoned professionals as they share their experiences, strategies, and secrets to building successful football teams.


  • Develop Strategic Thinking: Hone your strategic thinking and decision-making skills through comprehensive sessions designed to challenge and inspire.


  • Connect with Like-Minded Professionals: Build a powerful network of like-minded professionals who share your passion for the sport and are committed to excellence in football leadership.


What makes the ASDX course different?

The programme is remarkable in five main ways;

  • World-leading insights: The ASDX programme is centred on the key takeaways that make a difference. It is based on honest and authentic experiences from executives underpinned by academic research.


  • Critical Thinking: Sessions are centred on understanding other people’s worlds, issues, challenges, and approaches. The focus is on sharing and thinking differently, generating questions rather than answers, a safe space for critical thought and reflection.


  • Genuine connection: It is not just media content, it is a genuine opportunity to engage with leading football executives.


  • Affordability: It is priced to allow accessibility, at only £30 per session or £300 for all 12, the programme offers incredible value for money compared to the level of access and quality of insights provided.


  • Accreditation: for anyone completing the full twelve-month programme they will receive certification from the ASD.


What does the programme cover?

The programme covers a range of topics which mirror the diverse nature of executive leadership. From the art of negotiation and talent acquisition to building successful teams, the programme offers holistic and comprehensive insight that supports critical reflection and development. You can find the full programme here.


How do people sign up?

There are two options for people to come and join us, either a per-session basis or the fully accredited twelve-month bundle here.

This course cultivates years of experience supporting people on their continuous learning and career journey. I am confident ASDX will become integral to your journey, and I look forward to welcoming and supporting you.


Thanks to Dr Alex Bond for sharing insight into Association of Sporting Directors and their ASDX programme. And thanks to you, the reader, for taking the time to read this feature.

Join over 1,600 sport professionals who receive our weekly newsletter here.