Balague: giving an insight into just what it takes to run a club like Biggleswade United

Guillem Balague
Guillem Balague

Until I became seriously involved with Biggleswade United, I never really understood just what was required to ensure the efficient running of a football club at whatever level they compete at.

It is for that reason that as part of my work with the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) I have invited our chairman, Gareth Davies and Secretary, Tracey James to talk to the students about just what is needed so our club - any club - can function on a weekly basis.

A two hour seminar is only ever going to be long enough to scratch the surface but if we can get the message across that it isn’t just about playing 90 minutes plus added on time on any given Saturday and much more about day in, day out, perspiration rather than occasional flashes of inspiration, then hopefully they’ll get the idea.

There are the fixtures to coordinate, training schedules to prepare, publicity to get in place, grass to cut, kit to wash, turnstiles to man, programmes to produce, forms to fill, changing rooms to clean, reports to file, food to prepare, complaints to listen to, on-going issues to resolve, and we still haven’t kicked a ball yet.

Then on the playing side is the organisation of the type of game we want to play and the responsibility of hiring the right personnel that can help us implement the style and approach we are looking for. And everything has to be done on a shoestring budget.

The biggest single challenge is getting enough volunteers involved in every aspect of the club, to help us meet the commitments we face on a weekly basis.

And like a child it is constantly evolving. We now, once again, have a ladies first team and while it is still currently a learning curve for all of us, the same general expectations apply as they would to any of our sides in every aspect of its running be it with training, weekly preparation for future matches or whatever is needed to function.

Work commitments meant I have been spending quite a lot of time in Spain recently but what better opportunity to catch up with everyone than an FA Vase day.

Holbeach United are our guests on Saturday as we aim to make it through into the next round of this wonderful competition, the importance of which I never fully appreciated until quite recently. Let’s see if we can get one step closer to Wembley.