Former professional football player Ronald Waterreus will start the MSM Executive MBA in Sports Management in January 2016. Recently MSM interviewed him to learn more about his motivation to follow this program.

Waterreus believes that you must have a solid education in sports management if you want to fulfill an executive position in sports: “As a football analyst I have frequently criticized the fact that club managers are often people who either don’t come from the world of sports or who have a background in sports but do not or hardly have any sports education. If you aspire to fulfill such a position, you must come well equipped. This means having a solid education as a basis”.

Waterreus points out however that he does not have any specific goals in mind yet. “My main reason for enrolling in the Executive MBA course is to gather knowledge and exchange experiences. As a former top sportsman I have gained a lot of experience and insights in the various countries I have played in and in the various cultures I have come across. What I hope to learn in this course are the things you don’t get to learn as a sportsperson and to gain insights from people who look at things in a completely different way. I think that it is also important to look and listen to people who come from other sports disciplines or from the business world, and to get a broader perspective on how to run a sports organization in the future.”

These views are supported by the practice-oriented approach that characterizes the Executive MBA program offered at Maastricht School of Management. Various sports federations and companies such as KPMG, Royal HaskoningDHV and Impeco have endorsed this education program.

Hans van Breukelen, ambassador of MSM’s Executive MBA in Sports Management, has emphasized on many occasions that sports requires good leadership. Ronald Waterreus agrees: “Look at FIFA, for instance: it is too absurd for words that the largest sports organization in the world cannot be managed properly.” According to Waterreus, the main problem in sports in general, but in football specifically, lies in short-term thinking: “Not a single sports organization is prepared to take a close look at itself after becoming champion five times in a row, because ‘they’re obviously doing everything right’. Which is often not the case.”

The two-year part-time Executive MBA in Sports Management will be offered by MSM from January 2016, in collaboration with Sportbizz, Topsport Limburg and the Orange Sports Forum. The program is accredited by NVAO, AMBA, IACBE and ACBSP and prepares top-class sports players and professionals to take up senior management and leadership positions in the sports industry.

A unique program in the Netherlands, according to Waterreus: “When it comes to this type of programs, choices are few and far between. You can find many courses that are served with a ‘sports management sauce’, but they cannot be compared with this Executive MBA program.”

Check out the video of the interview in Dutch

Ronald Waterreus is a former professional goalkeeper who played for Roda JC, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, Glasgow Rangers, AZ Alkmaar and Red Bull New York. Additionally he was part of the Dutch national football team. Currently he serves as analyst in different football related programs on Dutch national TV.

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