In collaboration with the global players' union FIFPro, Nick Romeijn, an external doctoral student, and prof. dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg have created a toolkit with recommendations for guidance and communication towards foreign players in professional football. When a player transfers to a new club in a foreign country, they not only choose to play for a new team, but also have to adapt to a new culture and language, build a social life, and understand different communication and playing styles at their new club. This can be challenging, especially for young players who often leave friends and family behind.
To develop the toolkit, 26 players were interviewed, and 150 football expats were surveyed about their personal experiences abroad. The research aimed to identify the obstacles that they faced, what went well, and what they would change if they were in charge. Based on their recommendations, a manual was created to serve as a guide for International Human Resource Management (IHRM) in professional football. The manual covers topics such as intercultural communication, language skills, and 'culture shock'.
The recommendations were formatted by FIFPro and were highlighted again during the January transfer deadline, which is the last day of the transfer market when players can make the switch to another club.
Nick works for the sports municipal council in Amsterdam, which means that he gets to directly combine his consultancy work at the municipality with his research at ESHCC.