“Good fortune is what happens when planning meets with opportunity”. This quote by the famous American inventor, Thomas Edison, came to my mind when watching recent events that took place in the football world. Over the past few weeks, sport enthusiasts have witnessed the successful results that could be achieved by proper and committed planning. On May 25th, the city of London hosted one of the most anticipated sporting events in the world, a European football Champions League duel between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Both clubs, originating from Germany, are fitting examples of what could be achieved by organizations through the development of long-term strategies.
On the one hand, reputed for being one of the few football teams in the world that are ‘in the green’ and making profits year after year, Bayern Munich was able to achieve their current financial ability by creating a successful business plan. This plan focuses on maximizing revenues by expanding on their local fanfare to a global scale. Beside its success in creating a football club that is independent of wealthy investors, Bayern was able to build this longevity by creating a very organized club culture, which in addition to a strong financial foundation, it enables it to exercise monopolistic advantage in attracting the best players and coaches in Germany.
On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund is a club that was close to announcing bankruptcy less than 10 years ago, and if it wasn’t for its discipline in its restructuring commitment, seeing the team in a Champions League final in such a short time was only going to be a dream. Hostage to strict financial constraints; Borussia’s management had to carefully swim its way out of the deep ocean and they decided to develop a long term strategy that focuses on recruiting less costly young players, grooming them and relieving them of any short term expectations. In addition to the team being in the finals, it was the fashion in how it was achieved that highlighted their plan’s success. The team was able to qualify to the final round at a wage bill that was 260 Million Euros cheaper than their competitors, the Spanish Capital giants, Real Madrid.
When it comes to individuals, one of the best planners identified in the world of football is Sir Alex Ferguson, who recently announced his retirement after a successful 26 years in the same job. During his tenure, Sir Alex was close to being fired on a few occasions, but the stakeholders were confident of his plan. Before we knew it, Sir Alex bowed down in front of his roaring home fans, and despite the chants and mosaics designed for him, they all knew it will fall way below the grandeur of the tribute he deserves for the success he brought to their beloved club. As he retired in a fashion filled with emotion and zest, he left behind a legacy and a strong foundation to be carried over by another Scotsmen, David Moyes. Despite being a manager who is short of trophies, he is highly recognized for his dedication, work ethics, and values. These strengths enabled him to fit perfectly with Manchester United’s plan of not demanding short-term success.
Sometimes a plan may not be rich in variables, but maximizing the tools you have can help you deliver great results anyways, and this can only be achieved by working on your strengths. We don’t need to go beyond sports to understand that careful and proper planning minimizes the chances of poor performance and by improving planning, the chances of success become ever more possible.
Khalifa was born and raised in the UAE, with a 4 and bit years university stint in the Canadian lands, before coming back home to work for one of the investment arms of the Abu Dhabi government. Inspired to be the Ray Romano of the magazine, only as a sports journalist that is.
Khalifa believes the world of sports never gets the credit it deserves for its impact on this world. For some, its mere entertainment, but for some its soul therapy and sometimes, survival. In this sports universe, deep in its pockets, he was able to find a lot of pleasure reading for sports journalists like Phil Ball, Gabriel Marcotti, among many others. Considering some of his favorite literature comes from sports writers, he will use this column titled “Tifosi”, which stands for “fan” in Italian, to share this passion with others by discussing sport events that can relate to both fanatics and non fanatics.
Latest posts by Khalifa Al Hajeri (see all)
- A Sports Fan In A Sport City - March 1, 2015
- Moving Towards Individualistic Sports - February 1, 2014
- The Impact of Hosting Major International Sports Events - January 1, 2014