– Come as a chaos pilot – VG

- Come as a chaos pilot - VG
In School: 30 ex-professionals plus coaches, futsal players and referees take the UEFA masters. Among these are Didier Drogba (left) and Kaka (back). Right Liz Clavins with Brazilian players Kaka and Julio Cesar (right).

Newly elected head of football, Liz Clavins, 40, has not been lazy during the coronavirus pandemic. Together with this stellar team made up of former key players, she is in the process of completing the “Masters” under the auspices of UEFA.


– I didn’t really have time for that. It was fun, although it was a crunch in terms of time. There were beams with skipper roofs – de lux. Although whatever energy you get is worth doing, Liz Clavins is against it.

It competes with its mission of crisis management in the best football, which will soon be served and defended.

As the elite manager of the Norwegian Football Association, she has been awarded the UEFA Executive Master’s degree for international players. Over 20 months and seven weeks of gatherings around European cities, the aim is to train ex-professionals, coaches, referees and futsal players so that they can land a new career in football organisations.

The partners are the Birkbeck Sports Business Center at the University of London and CDES, the University of Limoges in France.

– It’s an executive master where the idea is that former players recognize their players’ careers as an essential education, and then you should have an academic team on top of this to help them in their football leadership life. Liz Clavins explains it to those who don’t necessarily want to become a coach but want to become leaders in football.

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– Exciting

On the team, she has well-known names in the world of football such as Didier Drogba, Emile Heskey, Kaka, Julio Cesar, Kim Kallstrom, Alexei Smertin, John O’Shea, Aaron Hughes, Florent Malouda, Andre Argavin – to name a few. Along with former Danish national team player Jan Madsen, Clavens is the only women in the “class”.

– Perhaps I am not in the target group since I have worked for ten years. There are programs that others in the NFL have taken and are taking that are more geared towards those who are already leaders, but I chose to do that because I’m a player. I was very curious about the whole concept and got an incredible amount of it. Professionally it was very exciting, although I was mainly interested in understanding different cultures, says Clavins, who was elected last weekend the first female football president in Norway.

She believes that the “UEFA Master” was useful for her leadership as she had not been a football director before.

– I spent my life in football, I was a lawyer and I worked in the courts as a lawyer, but I came here with management experience from another world, as Clavins describes.

– I knew football well, but not from a management perspective. There is a lot of chaos, a lot of conflicts of interest and an understanding of the players’ logistics, the player market from PSG or Barcelona sports director, there were things that I couldn’t get and you can only get through the media. It is a system and a market. Moral aspects are now one thing, but it is a global system about which I knew very little.

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It was not easy to find a space for all the gatherings in a busy daily life as the Corona pandemic was a challenge.

– I came in as a messy pilot with issues from the national age teams and my son’s nursery school, so I fly down and then you should sit and focus on this. I have no problem with being there once I’m there. It could be a strength and a weakness, because it burns abroad, Clavens says of the eight gatherings around Europe and most recently in New York.

Most classmates’ starting point is slightly different.

A lot of these people have a lot of money, they played football at the highest level and they are very interested in spending time on this and making a move. They are disciplined, read a lot between our records and travel to the pool often the day before to watch a Champions League game. I came as a “Tårnfrid”, but that’s a result of taking such a course when you’re at work. However, there is a lot I didn’t know, so I would have done it again.

Along the way, Lise Klaveness learned a lot about the clubs they visited, club management and player logistics.

– I got so close, and so I got an incredible amount of it. What are the eight pillars you need to balance as a leader? There were probably at least four I would have underestimated. This may not be the direction I intend to take my lead in, but it is very important to know and make it a weight.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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