“The Value-Based Human Resources (HR) Strategy in Professional Football: The Case of Arsenal FC”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room B35 – Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX

Wednesday 19th March 2008 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“The Value-Based Human Resources (HR) Strategy in Professional Football: The Case of Arsenal FC”

Given by:

Mr Antony Banfield, Arsenal FC Technical Director Italy and Europe (scouting and team assessment).


As Grundy and Brown argue (2003, pages 6-8), Arsenal FC is an interesting case study highlighting how:

  • Besides the “value chain” normally associated with competitive strategy (Porter, 1985), the “people value chain” – the network of activities through which value is added to people – is equally important. This includes prospecting for, recruiting, inducting, developing, inspiring, rewarding and recognizing them.
  • An effective HR strategy can add tangible economic value to an organization, and this value can be quantified.
  • An effective and well-focused HR strategy can enable a smaller organisation to compete with larger/more dominant ones.

As an official representative of Arsenal FC and member of the HR football scouting department Antony Banfield will discuss the following key questions:

  • What is the meaning of HR strategy in football?
  • What is the importance of scouting in football in HR strategy?

What is the impact of a youth academy in HR strategy?


  • Grundy, T. and L., Brown (2003). Value-based Human Resource Strategy: Developing your HR consultancy role, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.
  • Porter, M. (1985). Competitive Advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. The Free Press: MacMillan.


Having played as a professional football player for West Ham, Leyton Orient, Dartford and Wimbledon, Mr. Banfield has since enjoyed a very successful career as a coach; for example at Portsmouth, Fulham, and Crystal Palace. Starting as a staff coach for the English Football Association in his early career, he was national coach to Kenya and Jordan, and has acted as a consultant to various other foreign national football associations on behalf of the British Council. He is currently Technical Director Italy and Europe Scouting for Arsenal FC responsible for 1st team-to-youth assessment.

For further details on this Seminar Series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Email: or Tel: 020-7631 6763

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