A Coach's Basic Checklist of Accepting a Job Abroad

09 February, 2018

by Matt Ward - Technical Director. Founder of BFCN (British Football Coaches Network) on Linkedin

With more coaches looking abroad to increase their experience of the game, It's useful and potentially essential to be aware of some needs/expectations/requirements, before you head off to your new challenge.

Check Visa Laws - Even before you finalise a deal with any Club, Agent, Representative, ensure you have researched the destination's labour laws and immigration policies. Majority of the time you can enter a country such as Taiwan on a Visitor Visa and have it transferred into a work permit and residence Visa. If this is not the case like in countries such as Ghana, you will be expected to have a working visa already in place, before you even step foot in the country. Without the correct procedures of obtaining the needed permits, you will be officially illegal and any contract signed or agreed is deemed void. This can lead to problems for the coach, such as being asked to use false names and not to mention, being an illegal immigrant with no working rights or labour laws for protection.

Agents and Representation - This will help to avoid #1 above. Have a trusted or regular Agent to do your job seeking for you or negotiate with 3rd party agents for you. This will guarantee that your best interests are always put first and your Agent, can identify early on, possible pitfalls the future may hold. If you are not signed with any regular representation and go it alone, be aware of 3rd parties who give minimal details, can't answer questions, or seem more occupied with money going their way, before your welfare or money going your way, either leave it alone or seek guidance from someone who has experience in dealing with this.
Check Medical Requirements - Some destinations may require specific vaccines or medicine. Research and seek professional advice weeks in advance so nothing is delayed for such reasons.

Advance Salary - In the real world it's routine to work for a month before receiving your first salary. To be on the safe side, have it negotiated to receive at least the first month's salary in advance. It's known in various countries for a Coach to request 3 months salary in advance, whilst also receiving 3 monthly contract reviews. If the contract is legal and there are no underlying problems which may cause financial issue in the future, this is a reasonable option for both Club and Coach.
Salary Package Extras - If extras are included in the contract such as airfare and accommodation, ensure that specific details are emended in the contract, even down to the housing furniture, fittings and location. These should naturally be included in any foreign coach's package so don't feel obliged to accept anything less and if you are pressure to do so, perhaps it's not the right move for you.

Expect the unexpected - Be ready for things not to be done to the same routine or way of what your used to. The more you work abroad the more you will accept this. That said, if certain issues arise what can easily be rectified but are not, this should be early warning signs. If after several attempts to raise and solve issues which can be solved are denied including those which could land you in danger (including endangering your health or/and well-being), it could be time to start putting your safety first and seek advice/guidance from trusted parties. If anything is expected of you which puts you in an illegal situation, your own country's council/embassy are always on hand to offer information and options to take you out of harms way.

Enjoy and learn as much as you can about your experiences.