Job: Chief Operating Officer, National Football Museum, Manchester

Salary £55,000 per annum
Closes 13 Jun 2018

The National Football Museum explains how and why football has become ‘the people’s game’, a key part of England’s heritage and way of life. It also aims to explain why England is the home of football, the birthplace of the world’s most popular sport. The Museum originally opened in Preston in 2001. Home to a collection of over 140,000 boots, balls, programmes, paintings, postcards and ceramics (including the prestigious FIFA collection), it was situated at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.

While the museum was a critical success and popular with visitors, external funding was withdrawn and the doors closed to the public in 2010. Manchester City Council agreed to fund a new National Football Museum to be situated in the Urbis building, designed by Manchester architect Ian Simpson. After investment from the European Regional Development Fund, the National Football Museum opened in Manchester in July 2012. Over the first six weeks of opening the museum welcomed in excess of 100,000 visitors and in just over two years over 1 million had walked through the turnstiles.

Visitors from across the globe continue to enjoy world class objects (over 2,500 are on display at any one time), ground-breaking interactives and a changing programme of temporary exhibitions, linking football to topics as diverse as fashion, history, art and World War 1.

The museum’s president is Sir Bobby Charlton. Vice Presidents include Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Trevor Brooking and Sir Geoff Hurst. The museum’s Special Ambassador is Mark Lawrenson.

The National Football Museum is moving to a new exciting period in our development as we aim to become a world class museum with a social purpose.

To help us achieve our ambitions we are looking to recruit the new position of Chief Operating Officer to lead the commercial and operations business of our charity.

The successful candidate will have the responsibility of managing change across our visitor attraction, including retail and assets, with a key aim to drive income generation.

The Role: The COO is a newly created leadership team role working closely with the Chief Executive at a time of significant change as the charity moves towards a charging model to achieve its ambitions to become a world-class museum over the next four years.

The COO will play a central role in developing and implementing the NFM’s Strategic Plan with a focus on income generation, customer service and buildings management.

The COO will:

Support the charity to develop and achieve the successful delivery of the Strategic Plan through expert delivery of commercial activity.
Support the Board of Trustees and Leadership Team with accurate and timely financial and operational information, and interpretation to assist decision-making across the business.
Ensure the resources of the NFM are deployed effectively and efficiently to achieve its aims and ambitions, including taking lead responsibility for ICT. Ensure effective delivery of operations, administrative and business processes in all aspects of the NFM’s work.
Oversee the preservation and development of the NFM’s assets including leading the co-ordination of any capital projects.
Oversee the development and operations of the NFM’s offer (including admissions and museum hire and retail), ensuring excellent standards and maximum profitability.
Take lead responsibility for all legal and compliance work (including Health & Safety, Data Protection) and for risk management across the organisation.
Manage and negotiate the contractual arrangements and relationships with third party suppliers.


Leadership, Strategic Development and Decision Making:

Contribute to the development of the overall strategic vision for the organisation and take responsibility for delivering and developing the operational and commercial elements of the NFM’s annual implementation plans.
Encourage an entrepreneurial outcome-based approach to NFM activities.
Develop and oversee highly effective internal communication and management processes across the organisation.
Work with appropriate colleagues to develop business and strategic analysis to determine the viability of any new projects or activity that may be proposed to achieve NFM’s vision
Build effective strategic relationships with organisations and individuals, locally, nationally and internationally, who will help advance NFM’s vision
Act as a champion for the NFM

Assets, Operations & Commercial:

Ensure everyone that interacts with the NFM is given an exceptional level of customer service.
Ensure plans and systems are in place and operational to support the maintenance, protection and development of the NFM’s assets.
Ensure and co-ordinate the effective management of any capital development of the NFM’s assets.
Ensure the NFM building, and the facilities within it, operate efficiently and safely always, acting as the lead for health and safety, licencing and regulation at the charity.
Oversee the effective management of the operation of the NFM building, including the relationship with SMG, the Building management service provider.
Oversee the effective implementation of the admission service, ensuring accurate targets are set, accurate accounting is maintained and commercial targets (including Gift Aid) are met.
Oversee all ICT, including creating a CRM database, GDPR and development and maintenance of all NFM’s digital offering, including website.
Oversee the effective management of the retail service, ensuring accurate income and expenditure budgets are set, accurate accounting is maintained, and gross profit and income targets are met.
Devise and implement a new corporate events programme supported by the catering service provider to maximise income and raise the profile of the NFM as a charity
Produce and deliver the annual NFM Hall of Fame event.

Legal, Contracting, Risk and Compliance:

Oversee contracting across the organisation, ensuring that the financial implications of contracts have been allowed for in all budgets or forecasts.
Take overall responsibility for legal compliance and good practice compliance within charity and corporate law, and act as the lead point of contact with external legal advisors.
Take lead responsibility for the NFM’s policy and practice about Health and Safety, Licencing and Regulation, Child Protection, Data Protection, Employment Law and other compliance matters.
Take responsibility for organisation-wide risk management and disaster recovery plans.
Oversee liaison with insurance providers, including regular review of polices and negotiation of appropriate cover.
Present and advise Trustees on all contracts for authorisation.
Any other duties consistent with the level of the post.


You will be a highly motivated and inspiring leader, with a demonstrable track record in strategic and business planning and delivery, and operational management within a building-based organisation. Evidence of managing change will also be important.

You are likely to be a senior manager in the arts, entertainment, creative industries or wider cultural sector.


Significant experience in a senior management role
Experience of managing a broad range of activities
Operational management within a building-based organisation
Successfully delivered organisational change
Proven financial management, strategy and accountability
Experience of delivering effective communication across an organisation at all levels
Experience of developing and managing varied staff teams
Experience of management and development of commercial activities e.g. ticket income and retail.


Highly developed interpersonal skills, a self-starter with the ability to set the commercial direction of the charity
Ability to lead and manage complex and multiple projects in a highly pressured and dynamic environment
Strategic planning skills, including leading on business planning and implementation
Excellent negotiation and advocacy skills
Ability to write clear and effective reports, budgets and other key information


Excellent and persuasive communicator in a variety of contexts
Confident in building positive relationships at all levels
Able to adapt approach to different stakeholders and individuals
Sensitive to others needs, attitudes and beliefs
High standards of professional and personal behaviour

Flexibility and Resilience:

Possesses drive, resourcefulness, initiative and a positive attitude
Works flexibly in terms of methods, approach and timekeeping
Ability and willingness to work outside of normal office hours to meet the needs of the commercial operation
Team Working:

Shared commitment to the values and vision of the charity
Enthusiasm for football and its role in bringing people together to improve lives
Strong team leader and proven decision-maker with good instincts, able to delegate and take control, and listen to and value others’ contributions
Values driven

Apply here


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