Cool, calm and collective is the only way to describe Javier. I do not doubt in my mind that those traits had something to do with his appointment at Cordoba Football Club.
The CEO who took Córdoba FC into the Spanish 1st division.
Power & Glory
Football runs through his veins, that passion for the sport is more than evident if you get to meet him. I was intrigued about his rise to fame in such a competitive industry. Was he expected to be on top of his game without compromise all the time? Back in the day, Javier started in the Spanish military a compulsory one year service at that time, I believe that it provided him with the discipline and attention for detail that his club enjoyed over a six-year reign.
As our Skype call began, we exchanged pleasantries, in the knowledge that he had been interviewed a thousand times by international press, it was a high bar to jump. I remained composed. I think that the origin of professional career has a significant bearing on the type of person you are, thinking that would be the best place to start.
How did your career in Football begin?
My whole family were season ticket holders for Atlético Madrid, as a child, I have treasured memories watching games at the stand. It was something of a family activity with three generations of a family along with extended members being captivated by a sport that formed a bond between us all. In those days matches were every Sunday at 5 pm and in the old Stadium, not the new one.
I identified with; Luis Aragonés, he was my favourite player at Atlético Madrid who then progressed to the position of; National Team Coach.
In June 2011, I was working in Mexico. My Boss bought a football club and wanted me to be involved. One thing led to another, I became the CEO and Vice President. I was always his right-hand man. It was far from easy; the first task at hand was to understand how the business worked in terms of media, politics and press.
What was it like to Manage a Football club?
It was a very different experience for me, so many things that were out of your control; there was a dependency on the success of others to enjoy success yourself. Cordoba Football club got promoted to the first division after 42 years. I felt amazing when the whistle blew against Las Palmas, standing beside myself in shock and awe. Having dreamt about that moment, I had reached the very pinnacle of my career. I had become emotionally attached to my team’s success.
“When Spain won the European cup in 2008 in Vienna; I watched the match in Marbella, we won one-nil, it was fantastic”.
How did you relax in such a stressful job?
I felt strange asking someone who had the persona of being so laid back that question. It was a question I wanted to ask since it was a pressurised environment.
I went to the gym, lost weight and tried to eat healthier. The main problem was that as one match ended, you thought about the next one within such a short space of time.
In a position where others depended upon my confidence to lead in a very hands-on way, there was no time to be anxious. You needed to front confidence and remain calm.
What advice would you give young talent today?
You have to be the best, stay focused on your dream, maintain a high level of fitness and learn new skills too. Learning how to be multi-talented and adaptable to a coaches system should also be a consideration. He reiterated that attitude is a factor that you shouldn’t overlook.
There is an element of; it’s not what you know but who you know, social media can play a part in this. It has always been and will continue to be a well-respected sport, behave well and be considerate to others.
What is life like after Football?
I stood corrected as Javier referred to the fact that his bond with the Football industry was far from detached. On the contrary, there was an invisible link that was still very much connected.
I was curious to know more about his new project in Mexico. A company with Spanish roots.
I returned to the IT company, previously owned by my Boss. I work remotely at present while the situation with COVID is still present, with the intent of flying back and forth to Mexico in the new year.
And i now run the commercial wing of Teknei; a company that specialises in Blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise content management and Cybersecurity.
I could sense an equal level of excitement in his voice as he seemed forthcoming with information. I was curious about how these types of technologies were a common denominator in the Football world.
Javier explained that the season ticketing system and its relationship to QR codes would allow access into Stadiums.
Applications like these are currently used in the Aviation sector with boarding passes and admissions into restricted areas such as VIP lounges.
Biometrics are fused with this concept to take the theory one stage further. With the way in which COVID has affected so many sectors, especially those that rely on sheer visitor numbers, tracking and this type of feature is more important than ever.
Who is your target audience?
I’m looking for managing directors and CEO’s of football clubs to take note and interest in this type of technology. I’m also working on a platform that works with blockchain technology, its function based on investment generation.
Investment into Football clubs has always been very challenging at all levels. The development of an investment platform will enable everyone to get a slice of the pie.
Banks provide fewer returns so an idea like this may appeal to the mass. It effectively means that we have created a digital asset.
Clients purchase tokens and their investment can grow, everything is protected and regulated by the relevant bodies so it falls in line with legislation and codes of conduct.
The deadline is approaching, which is the 15th of November this year.
How are you still maintaining your connection within the football industry?
I still watch games, I’m respected in the industry and my calls remain values, I made a positive footprint in the industry. I make a real effort to maintain lines of communication with my connections.
How do you think football will change in the future?
The new now as people are calling it, has impacted the world of football at every level. The foundation of this sport is built on atmosphere, ambience and a feeling of connection. It’s not a question of if things will return to normal but more a question of when.
Technology will become more of a feature with tracking data becoming essential to performance. We can now use data from footwear to measure distance and movement even force and this data is used to provide a competitive edge.
There are plenty of links and video captures on this article if you would like to know more Javier and the projects that he is involved with. He’s a fascinating man and someone that I would certainly like to meet one day.
What do you think your challenge will be going forward?
There was a slight pause before he produced an answer befitting of the question.
I think that assisting platforms in the Football industry to embrace digital transformation, Teknei holds a powerful presence in this sector. The challenge is to take their products and impact the Football Industry with the concept of change. I thrive on facilitating change while maintaining traditional values; Teknei’s products are a perfect fit for me.