FD in Five minutes: Rupen Shah

The head of finance at the Football Foundation on his love of football and Dennis Bergkamp

Rupen Shah
Rupen Shah

Q. Why did you join the Football Foundation?

Having spent seven years at KPMG, I joined the foundation in 2014. It is hugely satisfying and exciting to work somewhere that has such a big impact in the improvement of the nation's grass-roots football facilities. Most importantly, I love the game. The seeds were sown when I first attended an Arsenal soccer school aged eight and when I walked out onto the famous Wembley pitch for the opening ceremony at Euro 96.

Q. You coach a girls' team. How did that come about?

Part-way through my time at KPMG, I volunteered for Arsenal FC's Gap Programme. That opportunity opened doors for me to work with the club and to this day I have delivered coaching clinics in more than 14 different countries. It also provided me with an amazing opportunity to work with the under-10 girls in Arsenal's Academy for the past four years. It is incredible to see the talent there - although awareness of how good girls' youth football is probably isn't there yet.

Q. Who is your favourite player?

Dennis Bergkamp. I grew up watching the "Invincibles". Behind every action he took on the pitch there was a thought. I was fortunate enough to meet him when he had just retired. We joked that if he ever came back to Arsenal, it should be as the "first touch" technical director, given his unbelievable first touch.

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