Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Max Fitzgerald – Head of Media, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Max Fitzgerald, the Head of Media at Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves), shares his journey in the football industry and provides valuable insights into working in a media team. With experience at AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United, Max offers a unique perspective on the highs and lows of his career. Let’s delve into his story and discover what it takes to succeed in football media.

How did Max start his career in the football industry?

Max’s path into the football industry was a combination of luck and perseverance. Studying journalism at Bournemouth University, Max had the opportunity to support his favorite team, AFC Bournemouth, while gaining valuable knowledge. Through volunteering, Max became involved with the club and eventually secured a full-time role as their Communications and PR person. This decision meant leaving university, but Max knew it was the right move to pursue his passion for football media.

Leaving university for a dream job

For Max, leaving university for the job at Bournemouth felt like the right decision. Due to a leg injury that caused him to miss classes, repeating his first year seemed inevitable. Moreover, Max discovered that his true calling was in PR rather than journalism. Balancing education and work would have been challenging, and Max ultimately prioritized his career in the football industry. Within a year, he became the Head of Media and Communications, witnessing the club’s rise to the Premier League within just a few years.

Progression and development in football media

Max’s career path is a testament to his progression and development within football media. As he moved from Bournemouth to West Ham, Max faced the challenge of leaving behind something he loved. However, taking on the role at West Ham offered him the opportunity to cement his position in the industry. Each football club operates differently, and Max found it crucial to adapt and build strong relationships with managers, players, and colleagues. Managing a team of individuals with various skills and fostering creativity has been key to his success.

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Key skills for a football media role

Communication is undoubtedly a fundamental skill for any football media professional. However, media teams in football clubs are diverse and require a range of talents. In the early stages of his career, Max found himself juggling multiple roles—handling matchday programs, website management, interviews, and media relations. Being confident in communication, both internally and externally, is essential. Establishing good working relationships across departments and understanding how to effectively communicate with supporters are also vital skills in football media.

The importance of additional languages in football media

While additional languages can be beneficial, Max doesn’t consider them essential to excel in football media. Although he regrets not studying another language, he found that foreign players often have a good command of English or quickly pick it up. While it may seem advantageous to communicate directly with players in their native language, Max realized that relying on colleagues’ language skills prevented him from building personal relationships with players. The ability to communicate effectively in English has not been a personal barrier for him in his role.

Adapting to different media operations

In Max’s experience, each football club runs its media department differently. Media operations often reflect the manager’s philosophy and approach to communication. Transitioning from club to club has required Max to adapt to new structures and implement his own ideas. Football clubs operate uniquely and face different challenges. Building strong relationships with managers, players, and club owners is essential to navigate these dynamics successfully.

Debunking misconceptions about working in football media

Contrary to popular belief, working in football media is not as glamorous as it may seem. While there are privileges like attending fixtures and being part of pre-season tours, these experiences often involve intense work schedules and little downtime. Media teams work relentlessly, not just during the football season but also during the close season in supporting administrative tasks. Despite the demanding nature of the job, Max emphasizes the magic of working in a football club, where teamwork and shared experiences create a unique bond.

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Maintaining work-life balance in football media

Maintaining work-life balance can be challenging in a football media role. The job often requires being on-call 24/7, which means sacrificing personal time and being available during holidays. Max acknowledges the difficulty but emphasizes the importance of having understanding family support. While the role can be demanding, there are periods of less pressure or quieter times. Balancing personal and professional commitments is an ongoing challenge but one that Max has embraced.

Balancing reactive and proactive work in football media

The reactive nature of the role makes it challenging to prioritize proactive work. In media, being able to stay calm in pressurized situations is crucial. While Max finds it difficult to be proactive consistently, he relies on his team to contribute creative ideas and content. Juggling different responsibilities, he understands the importance of striking a balance between reactive and proactive work to meet the demands of his role effectively.

The most enjoyable aspects of working in football media

For Max, the most enjoyable aspect of working in football media is simply being part of the football industry. While he has considered exploring other industries, the sense of camaraderie and shared goals in football clubs keeps him invested. Recognizing the privilege of his role, Max appreciates the opportunity to travel, engage with supporters, and experience the unique atmosphere of a football club. Despite the challenges, he feels fortunate to be working in a field that inspires passion and dedication.

Max’s football career highlights

Throughout his career, Max has experienced four promotions and no relegations, making his journey an exciting one. Joining Wolves when they were at the top of the Championship was a remarkable experience. The Europa League campaign with Wolves stands out as a highlight, as Max had the chance to meet foreign press, visit new places, and be part of an incredible campaign. These experiences have shaped his role and provided valuable learning opportunities.

Advice for aspiring football media professionals

Max’s advice to those aspiring to work in football media is to work hard and create their own luck. Volunteering, gaining work experience, and showing dedication are essential to stand out in a competitive field. Max emphasizes the importance of making oneself indispensable to a club, which increases the chances of securing a full-time role. Being passionate, persistent, and talented opens doors and creates opportunities in the football industry.

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Max’s future in football

As for the future, Max doesn’t have a specific plan or ambition. He enjoys his current role and is content with the opportunities it presents. Max recognizes that the nature of his career has often led to unexpected opportunities, and he remains open to what the future holds. Each move he has made in his career has been a learning experience, and he cherishes the experiences and relationships he has built along the way.


What skills are essential for a football media role?

Communication is crucial, but the specific skills required in a football media role can vary. Being an all-rounder with strong communication skills is beneficial, especially in smaller teams. Additionally, building good relationships across the club, including with players and supporters, is vital.

How important are additional languages in football media?

While additional languages can be beneficial, they are not essential for success in football media. Many foreign players have a good command of English, and language barriers can often be overcome through effective communication.

How can one succeed in a football media role?

Success in a football media role requires hard work, dedication, and talent. Gaining relevant work experience, volunteering, and making oneself indispensable to a club are important steps. Standing out in a competitive field requires passion, persistence, and a combination of skills and expertise.

In summary, Max Fitzgerald’s journey in football media showcases the dedication, adaptability, and passion required for success in this field. From his early days at Bournemouth to his current role at Wolves, Max’s experiences offer valuable insights into the world of football media. Whether it’s building strong relationships, embracing challenges, or staying proactive, Max’s story inspires aspiring professionals to pursue their dreams in the football industry.

For more information on Max Fitzgerald and his incredible journey, visit Movin993 for engaging content and updates.