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real stories

growing into a successful business. That’s what happened to Anthony Dalton who founded the Bellevue Football Club in Wandsworth in south London. As a PE teacher at a local school, Anthony really wanted to see the kids he taught do well at the sport. This was was the springboard to starting up. Anthony’s football club started with only six children but today takes over an entire section of the park each Saturday morning. This growth has happened through word-of-mouth from happy customers. Guess who they are? The kids!


He’s the business Anthony may not see himself as a businessman in the traditional sense, but as the saying goes, ‘he is the business’. In other words, he has what it takes to make something happen and to do it well - without him the club wouldn’t exist. Of course, Anthony’s natural ability to develop players and organise matches made a football club good choice. He has also been able to recognise when he needs to make changes to keep the club going and growing - such as hiring new coaches. It certainly didn’t grow from six to 86 overnight. This came about over time through good quality coaching and giving people a great time, while improving their skills at the same time. Remember: you can’t quit on the

first rainy day when only four kids turn up! Instead, you have to make playing in the rain part of the fun!

FYM speaks to Anthony Dalton and finds out that running a sports club is an entirely viable business

ot everyone sets out to be an entrepreneur from day one. Some people sort of start something on the side which ends up

sided matches.


Case study

I run a football scheme for the community on Wandsworth Common. It's a football training skills session followed by small-

All children are sorted according to age group. On a sunny day we

have about 80 children who arrive at 10.30am. On a cold wet day we may only get 20 children. The sessions last for an hour and a half and cost £6.00. It is pay-as-you-play; there are no other fees or membership costs. I came up with the idea as an extension of my school teams'

training sessions - to improve, my boys needed to train more. It just seemed to get bigger and bigger as many passers-by came to enquire about what was happening. Now I employ around ten qualified football coaches. Each coach is

well paid so we don’t make a massive profit, but it’s worth having quality coaches to provide a high standard of football. This was never meant to be a successful business. I never advertise, and I am not interested in developing it into a business chain. I’m a teacher and that is my full-time job. I run this because I want to see young children improve their football skills. It probably wouldn't be that difficult to develop this into a real

business. We certainly deliver great coaching sessions and many parents have suggested we should be charging more. I’m not really a ‘businessman’, but a teacher at heart. For me this is not about the money. If I really wanted to be rich, I would have chosen a different profession.

The safe side l Have a leaflet explaining who you are and what you do to parents, so they know that they play at their own risk.

l Keep a register of all players, even those who only turn up once. Be aware of who is dropping them off and picking them up.

l Find out if they have medical conditions like asthma or any other special requirements that might need your attention.

l Keep your first aid qualifications current and know what to do in an emergency. 31

fresh young millionaire

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