Hi, I am James and have loved soccer (or more commonly known as football where I live) for most of my life. We had a park around the corner from my house and I played football every day. Supposedly, if you practice a hobby for 10,000 hours you become a master of the said hobby. Well I am pretty certain I practiced soccer for 10,000 hours and I am no where near Sunday League standard! However, I love watching soccer.
I went to my first game at Stamford Bridge when I was 11 years old and I got to see my favourite player as a youngster Gianfranco Zola. It was Chelsea v Southampton and we won 1-0. Every Birthday and Christmas present after that was tickets to watch Chelsea. My room was classed as a Chelsea shrine, painted in Chelsea blue and Chelsea pictures everywhere. As I started to go with mates, I went to away games (even sneaking into the home end on an away day to watch, naughty!). I am a member of the Chelsea Supporters Trust and soon I will buy a share of Chelsea Pitch Owners.
My most prized Chelsea possession was actually given to me by a West Ham Fan. He won a signed Chelsea ball at an auction and gave it to me just to annoy his friends who were Chelsea fans.
I am going through the signatures at the moments and I think the ball is from the 1999-2000 season.
I have been lucky to have met a number of Chelsea players. When I was a student, I worked in a DIY store and Petr Cech came into the shop. I got his autograph. I also met Dennis Wise at an event and I got a photo with him and the Europa League trophy.
As mentioned Soccer is a big part of my life. I had to write a dissertation for a Masters I was studying for and I focused on Football and Corporate Governance. When I wrote the dissertation there were a number of high profile clubs going into administration (sadly this has continued today). My dissertation was undertaken to see if there is a correlation between firm performance and corporate governance within football clubs. The study looks at whether the most successful clubs the ones with good corporate governance and whether there is anything that can be done to stop clubs going into administration. In light of recent FIFA events it is now important to have governance at the forefront of football in order to make sure that a sustainable business can be achieved.
I loved writing my dissertation and wanted the rest of the world to be aware of the study. I therefore, self published my first book which is the study. In short, the teams with better corporate governance, create more money then with teams with poor corporate governances. If you need a good insomnia cure then you can get the book at Amazon.
Following the release of my studied I wrote two scripts for TIFO Football (who were then taken over by The Athletic). Two youtube videos were created based on my dissertation.
As you can tell I am Soccer mad and one day my wife will find out that the reason we had Lord of the Dance as a wedding Hymn was purely down to my love of Chelsea (she is none the wiser).