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Jean-Michel Delaplagne has two passions: education and football

Jean-Michel Delaplagne, former General Secretary of the FEDE, has recently published a book entitled ETG : un rêve inachevé [Evian TG: an Unfinished Dream]. The book, which includes a preface by Jean-Michel Aulas, chairman of Olympique Lyonnais, talks football in a highly thoughtful way, taking into account the financial, managerial and social challenges clubs face. The aim is clear: to show the similarities between the management of a football club and the management of a large company. We talk with the author, an educational expert with a passion for the beautiful game.

What would you describe as the milestones in your career?

I graduated from the Institut d’Administration des Affaires [Institute of Business Administration], Grenoble. I taught economics during my studies, which allowed me to experience the joy of sharing knowledge with others. After that I worked as a radio presenter in Grenoble before founding the IPAC Group (specialising in higher education in the Pays de Savoie region in France, the Group works with more than 2000 students), which I have now headed for over 30 years.

For more than 15 years I was also General Secretary and member of the Executive Council at the FEDE, as well as President of the French Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Finally, from January-July 2016 I was Administrative Director at Evian TG – a Ligue 1 football club.

Hence your book…

Yes, I wrote the book during 2017, building on my experience as Administrative Manager at ETG. In it I give an insider’s view of the difficulties, challenges and opportunities encountered and paint a portrait of the people directly and indirectly involved in the life of the club. I wanted the book to be accessible to anyone interested in the management of a football club. For that reason I limited the use of technical language that would not be understood by non-specialists.

In that case, the FEDE’s institutions could recommend it!

Absolutely! Teachers of finance, management or business administration could certainly recommend the book, which I’m sure their students would enjoy – particularly the football lovers amongst them. The book is a sort of ‘case study’ with numerous examples of complicated management and financial issues.

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