The first students have enrolled on a new football management course in the UAE.

The Pro League Committee Football Certificate is a new qualification that will teach the skills required by the football industry.

The Executive Management course began teaching on 22 October, with the first Marketing and Media Certificate sessions held next month.

Each course consists of three modules and a final report presentation and aims to develop a new generation of professional sports administrators.

The Pro League Committee chairman, Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, explained: “The sport leaders qualification programme will help develop UAE sport in general, and especially football.

We were eager to cooperate with the UAE FA Academy to create a complete programme delivered by Premier League experts and based on the top foundations and principles of sport management.”

The courses are being delivered in partnership with the FA Academy and are taught in English. The four sessions of each course are held in three-day blocks every few months in Dubai, with the final sessions held in May 2019.

The opening session for the Executive Management Certificate runs from 22-24 October and includes lectures and practical sessions.

One lecture on the course’s opening day was delivered by Ian Laithwaite, who worked in executive roles at Wigan and Bolton football clubs.

His lecture covered the importance of investment in academies, player transfers and facilities, as well as ways of connecting football clubs to their local communities.

The Pro League Committee organises football leagues in the UAE and was set up in 2007.

“Eleven years ago, we were working on the foundations of professional football in the UAE,” said Al Junaibi.

We had so many challenges, but we went ahead, went far and our clubs became a model to follow on the continental stage. Our ambition and passion are unlimited.”