Monday, February 19, 2018
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FIMBA Alumni

The Football Industries MBA programme (FIMBA) is truly unique.  It is the only course in the world that focuses on the professionalisation, business and marketing of football.

In 2007, over 50 graduates celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the course at a reunion event in Glasgow by forming FIMBA Alumni. This association was created to promote the interests of the graduates of FIMBA.

We are FIMBA Alumni.  Football is our business.

Paul James (2003), a two-time member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, has been involved in Canadian soccer as a player, television analyst, writer, and coach.

As well as having an MBA in Football Industries from the University of Liverpool, Paul has been a featured soccer analyst for Canada’s national daily newspaper the Globe and Mail, The Score Television Network, CBC, Sportsnet, and GolTV.

Remarkably, in spite of his rise through the soccer world, Paul suffered the devastating burden of drug addiction for over ten years, from 1998-2010. Considering the progressive, chronic, and fatal path of most drug addicts Paul’s survival through the brutish world of drug addiction makes his personal narrative compelling.

In a tribute to his resilience CEO Peter Kay from the Sporting Chance rehab clinic in England remarked, "For Paul to have continued working at the level he did illuminates an extraordinary will power".

As a player, Paul represented the Canadian National Team 47 times at the senior level, competing in all of Canada's games at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1986 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico. He was a four time Canadian Soccer League All Star in Canada's one and only professional soccer league and at the young age of 26, Paul became player/coach of the Ottawa Intrepid leading the team to a fifth place finish in a ten team Canadian league.

In a distinguished and varied coaching career, Paul won the Canadian Soccer League Coach of the Year Award in 1992 after leading the London Lasers to a "fourth place" position, on the lowest budget in the league.

After four years coaching in the American collegiate system, Paul, against all the odds, turned around two moribund collegiate soccer teams into highly successful programs receiving recognition with two, Coach of the Year awards within the NCAA.

A highlight of Paul’s coaching career came when he was the Canadian National U20 Coach from 1998 to 2001. During this period, he led the Canadian team to the CONCACAF Group Title in 2001, qualifying the team to only their fifth appearance at a FIFA World Youth Championship.

To round out his coaching career, Paul, from 2004 to 2009 was the Director of Soccer and Head Coach of the York University soccer programs. During his time at York Paul coached and oversaw the development of two previously poor, non-ranked soccer squads, into nationally respected teams along the way garnering 5 Divisional Titles, 4 OUA Provincial Championships, a 2007 National Championship, number one rankings with both the men and women's programs and three Coach of the Year awards, including National Coach of the Year in 2007. During this period, Paul was also an assistant coach with the highly successful Canadian national U20 women's team that won the 2008 CONCACAF Championship.

For the past decade Paul became a highly regarded soccer media analyst with his, at times, hard hitting commentary. Combining a unique and varied soccer background with his direct, honest, and balanced approach to reporting on Canadian and North American soccer issues Paul was touted by James Sharman of The Score Television Network as one of the best soccer minds in North America.

As a corporate speaker, Paul has appeared for numerous organizations including the Ontario Soccer Association, CIBC and Deloitte providing insight into an extraordinary, interesting, and eventful career sprinkled with hard earned success.

As a part of his recovery from drug addiction Paul spent two years writing his personal autobiography fittingly titled “Cracked Open”. An honest, graphic, and cutting account of Paul’s life, Cracked Open is sure to create dialogue throughout the soccer world, the mainstream addiction industry and society in general.

Passionate, intense, motivational, uncompromising, direct, honest, principled and yes, even a little crazy, all have been used to describe Paul’s persona over the years. Now they could just as easily be ascribed to Cracked Open a very entertaining yet at times, sad look, into the life of one of Canadian soccer’s most recognized names.

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The FIMBA Alumni programme was established to promote, foster and maintain relationships, mutual assistance and information between the Alumni, the University of Liverpool Football Industries Group, current and potential students for professional, academic and social reasons.

It aims to promote and raise the awareness of the Alumni and the FIMBA course within the sports industry on a worldwide basis. 


Our vision is to be ahead of the game.

We will embrace partnerships with those wishing to align themselves with current and future industry leaders.

We aim to be the highest regarded sports alumni association in the world.

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