The University & College of Football Business will open its doors at a 30,000 sq ft base within Burnley FC's Turf Moor stadium in September.
Brendan Flood, a director of Burnley FC and former boss of the Manchester-based retail developer Modus, which went into administration at the outset of the recession, is among the investors in the £2m academic venture. Flood has recruited a high-profile non-executive board of advisors including Brian Barwick, former chief executive of the Football Association, Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, and Burnley fan and former Downing Street press advisor Alistair Campbell.
Philip Wilson, chief executive of UCFB, said the centre will employ nearly 150 staff and cater for around 200 students in 2011/12 rising to a capacity of 1,000 over the coming years.
Wilson said: "Football involves more than just the game, off the pitch there is the media and marketing, supply chain management, logistics, business and finance and we want the UCFB graduates to leave with transferable skills that they could just as easily take to Mars or Deutsche Bank as a football club."
UCFB will aim to tap into the global appeal of football and attractiveness of UK higher education to overseas students. A student accommodation block of between 200 and 250 bedrooms is being planned for a site next door to the football ground.
The centre will offer three-year courses, accredited to a leading university:
- BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance (three years)
- BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing (three years)
- BA (Hons) Football Business & Media (three years)
So far more than 100 prospective students have registered their interest at the UCFB website's holding page and Wilson said the college would be advertised via UCAS, the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service, by the end of March.
The space within Turf Moor will include library, seminar rooms and student common room areas with teaching taking place overlooking the pitch. The teaching staff will include full-time academics as well as visiting lecturers from the Premier League, Scottish Premier League, Football League and PFA.
Wilson added: "We want this to be something that Burnley as a town and a club are proud of and will have an impact on the local economy that spills out beyond UCFB."