Advertisement

Arsene Wenger lands unusual new job six years after Arsenal exit

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)


Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will lead a new Professional Footballers Association (PFA) undergraduate degree from August. The Frenchman has been announced as the course director for the programme, the first-of-its-kind offered by the PFA's Business School.

Wenger, who is FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development, has been out of the dugout since leaving the Emirates Stadium in 2018 and hit the headlines recently with his controversial offside rule. The 74-year-old had a trophy-laden spell in North London, where he won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup's following his appointment in 1996.

The programme is available for all members of the PFA, with a focus on players who are in or have recently left academy systems, in order to help them with the skills needed to have senior positions on and off the pitch. Those who embark on the degree will undergo study for the UEFA B License, FA Talent ID and scouting certificate, as well as preparation for a FIFA agents - among other practical modules.

"I worked with many intelligent young footballers in my career who were more than capable of attaining academic excellence off the pitch but were constrained by the availability of suitable courses," said the former Arsenal manager. "This is a huge development for this group.

"For the first time they will have the opportunity to combine their playing commitments with a three-year undergraduate degree, changing the perception that you cannot do the two things at once. The programme is not only designed to give students an understanding of the industry, but to deepen their knowledge of the game itself and the various elements that go into performance.

"I believe the course will help prepare players for the next steps in their lives and careers." The Gunners are among the clubs to have signed up to support player participation in the programme with Chelsea, West Ham United and Newcastle United also among the clubs to offer their support.

READ MORE: Confusion over Reuell Walters's Arsenal future as Mikel Arteta makes brutal squad decision

READ MORE: Arsenal hope for early Benjamin Sesko deal as Mikel Arteta targets Euro 2024 timeline

Wenger will be joined by different renowned international football administrators to teach modules as part of the PFA Business School. Already, the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Jones, Lucy Staniforth and Steve McManaman are the players past and present who are undertaking courses made available by the initiative.

Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker feels the initiative is an important one to support and believes clubs have a responsibility to aid player development off the pitch as well as on it. He said: "The new PFA Business School undergraduate degree is an excellent initiative for players and one we’re really pleased to be able to support.

"As a club we have a real responsibility towards the development of all our players both on and off the pitch. We believe the only way to become the best player you can be is by becoming the best person.

"They are the most important and visible representatives, so it’s right that we invest in them. We’ve worked really hard to make sure personal development is a strand that runs through everything we do at every level, starting in the Academy and the Strong Young Gunner ethos.

"The PFA scheme fits with that approach and is a way for players to combine continued learning alongside their football careers.”