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For many people every other Saturday, the pilgrimage to the football stadium represents a passion, a sense of belonging an identity as well as a purpose. Away days are great but much different to playing at home, which is a lot more familiar with the stadium holding a lot of significance to the football supporter, regardless of the club involved.
Fans are passionate about supporting their team but what if going to the ground takes on a different meaning? Some fans combine their passion or interest in football with employment as particularly at the top level, there is an abundance of football jobs available for different types of people.
At any football ground on any given matchday, it takes a lot of busy people to make the game happen, beyond those out on the pitch.
Think of stewards, catering staff, those in hospitality, programme vendors, ticket staff and many more.
In addition to that, it takes a strong core staff to run a football club. In the lower levels of the game, this will represent a modest number of people through to the vast operation that maintains those clubs at the elite level.
Here is a list of the different roles you can do at football clubs and football stadiums.
Football hospitality staff
At a top Premier League club, there will be several different hospitality offerings for fans who prefer to enjoy their football differently, through to those on a special day out as well as corporate entertainment.
For all of the food and drinks involved, this requires people to cook, prepare serve and replenish all of the materials involved.
In the executive boxes, there will be waiting staff as well as club legends and others on hand to provide the desired experience for patrons. After the game, there is usually some kind of live interview with a player, or perhaps more ex-players reviewing the events on the pitch.
Why are there so many stewards at a football stadium when they don't particularly do a lot? It's all about numbers. The bigger the crowd within the stadium, the more stewards are required. This is typically a casual staff role, helping people with finding their seats, checking bags or being the first port of call if help is required. Around the pitch and in the segregation areas for more high-profile games, there will be stewards with more of a security remit to make sure that opposition fans are kept apart or to remove any intruders from the pitch.
Football ticket staff
Plenty of football clubs will still have tickets available on the day of the game or will have a ‘pay at the gate' facility, particularly for those further down the football pyramid.
Those involved may be club staff who perform other roles during the week or maybe part-time for when the ticket office opens on a match day. In non-league, this remit is one of many that will be taken up by volunteers.
In recent years, automated turnstiles are operated electronically with smartcards and qr codes involved, but there are still lesser numbers of staff or stewards needed to be on hand.
Football bar staff
In the concourse, you will find outlets for fans to get something to eat or a drink. The many outlets in the big stadiums require plenty of staff to keep things ticking over and especially to keep up with the demand for beer from thirsty supporters.
This is the case in England, but in Scotland, the sale of alcohol in general admission areas (in the stands) is not permitted.
From around 90 minutes before kick-off, a steady stream will gather and congregate under the stand to have a drink, some banter and get the atmosphere going. It is very much a football thing!
Again, casual staff will be required to keep the food and drink replenished, to organise and tidy as the day goes on.
Football merchandise staff
More staff will be required in the club store on matchday but in addition to that, there will be more merchandise to sell on the day of the game. For small clubs, this could represent a small offering just beyond the turnstiles whilst the top clubs will have mobile outlets offering all of the essentials for a football fan at the stadium.
Matchday means programmes as well so this staple requires a lot of people to take the money and hand them over. In this digital age, programme sales and demand remain relatively strong so as long as that is maintained, the classic souvenir of the football match will remain.
To the Programme Sellers at non-league football grounds: Your dedication adds a special touch to every match day.
Thanks for preserving the tradition and providing fans with cherished keepsakes.
We see and appreciate you! pic.twitter.com/rvV1rhAveJ
— Non-League Volunteers (@nonleaguevol) October 27, 2023
Non-matchday club staff
The vast majority of us will never realise our dreams of playing for our beloved clubs, but some do experience the thrill of working for our favourite team and the honour of being a club representative.
Aside from the football squad, the coaching staff and those who supplement them such as the medical people, there are plenty of positions that need to be filled. These are full-time professional roles in recognised areas across the whole operation at a football club.
These roles range from administration staff to supporting the executive management team, to the marketing department which will be supplemented by sales staff for essential merchandise requirements through to high ticket corporate income. In these modern times, the big clubs will have several staff dedicated to social media and club channels. There will be a team of press officers and media relations people too.
A team of ground staff is required for the pitch at the stadium as well as the training ground. The big clubs will have full-time ticket office staff as well as those involved with stadium tours and museums.
The list goes on and on. There is something that will interest many people with a decent chance of getting into one of the roles, especially for younger people.
Casual jobs on a matchday are routinely advertised whilst full-time employment at a football club will be harder to come by, but it is still worth pursuing to secure a desired role to work at a football stadium.
How to find football jobs
Here are some websites and sources we recommend:
For jobs in football media, follow @garytaphouse on Twitter.
For jobs across the sport, head to jobsinfootball.com
Check out the ‘jobs' page at Premier League and EFL clubs, you might find something that takes your fancy!