Today I was able to sit down with Jamie Swinney, CEO of Falkirk FC to gain an insight into his role and relationship with the club.
“I’ll try my best to summarise” he laughs before adding: “A football club really isn’t that different from any other business. There is obviously one main difference between a regular business and a football club and that is the weekly event everyone works towards”
“That is abnormal in terms of business and I know it’s a cliche but every day is different”.
Swinney first started in the club, nicknamed ‘The Bairns’ as a volunteer while he was still attending the University of Stirling and he said: “I realised I needed to upsell myself.”
This led to him getting involved in volunteer coaching opportunities in the club and from there he worked his way up to paid work and used the experience he had gained to move to more senior positions (including a stint as the CEO of Stenhousemuir before returning to Falkirk this summer).
Reflecting on how coaching impacted his transition to his current role he said it helped with the leadership element of it explaining: “That it helped me hugely as a person and also in my career”.
It would be correct to say that Falkirk have underperformed on the football pitch in recent years with Swinney saying that he has helped his role be more attractive as he explained: “What excites me is trying to make a real difference here and through time being able to take the club back to where I believe it can be in Scottish football”.
The future of Falkirk Football Club does have some uncertainty surrounding it with recent resignations in the Board and a number of defeats in League 1 (the third level of senior football in Scotland).
However, Swinney remains determined to get the Bairns, who were in the Scottish Cup Final just six years ago, back where it deserves no matter how long it takes, especially as it’s what the fans want.
Falkirk is known for having a close connection with the fans and community, from giving free tickets to different groups each week to the Falkirk Foundation and Swinney recognises how important the relationship between the fans and club is by saying: “The team and the people at the club will change, but the club’s commitment to the community, and engagement in the local community, that doesn’t change”.
Falkirk has been an enormous part of Jamie Swinney’s life, it’ll be key to see if he can impact the club as the club has impacted him.