Napkins and Databases

Sports clubs have been around for a while. In the case of football, since the late 1800s, associations and other entities were formed to organize and regulate sporting activities. Most notably, the English Football Association (The FA) was formed in 1863 and it legalized professionalism later in 1885.

It was a time of great aspirations. Since the agricultural and industrial revolution had created considerable wealth in Europe and the United States, it was the newly-acquired purchasing power that led to discretionary spending in leisure activities.

Like everything, organized sports went through a period of sophistication and expansion, from the creation of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) in 1904 to the founding of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) in 1954, regulation and administration processes increased dramatically to impact every possible detail about who could do what in the world of football.

Issuing permits or licenses became commonplace with football federation affiliation, and contracts took on a bigger importance, both on and off the field with the rise of sponsorship agreements.

While the landscape of football, commerce and Television broadcasts has changed significantly over the years, the way in which football clubs handle these contractual obligations has not changed much.

In fact, despite all the digital solutions at their reach by the year 2000, FC Barcelona signed one of the best players of all time, Lionel Messi -13 years old at the time-, using a restaurant napkin as legal platform.

Even while all sorts of methods can work to protect club assets, we believe a modern approach should put privacy, convenience and scalability at the core. This is why we work on Club.

“Even while all sorts of methods can work to protect club assets, we believe a modern approach should put privacy, convenience and scalability at the core. This is why we work on Club.”
The signed napkin that Carles Rexach used to bring Messi to FC Barcelona.

The amount of data that clubs now use in deciding whether or not to sign a youth-level player has increased exponentially, and will continue to expand into deeper statistics, including genetic information. 

With the increased ease of data creation and retrieval, from just about all sorts of devices, we are now seeing new regulations that are necessary to protect people's data. The most natural -and unacceptable- way of dealing with this is handling personal data over email. We can do better.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) put into effect by the European Union this year is a great start in protecting people's right to privacy, but we need to do more from a software perspective, to support privacy and facilitate information about what is done with data in a non-regulatory way. What we are saying is that this should be part of the product. 

We will collect more data, we are always getting better at it, but user experiences will suffer unless we provide visibility and transparency in the process. This calls for smarter solutions with higher security, and for mechanisms that are easy to understand, adopt and change. We want to put people in control. Check this space for more.

Have you tried Club yet?

Club is a next-generation platform for handling athletes and football needs. It is a player-centric solution built using modern technologies and tools. You can request access here.

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- Markus Grecho -

Production Director

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- Maria Grecho -

Production Director

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

- Maria Grecho -

Production Director