Boardroom bound? Retired player Andrew Barrowman looks to the future

Andrew Barrowman
Barrowman's playing days are behind him and he now wants to work in the "business of football"

Pat Nevin. Dave McKinnon. Gordon Smith.

The list of Scottish footballers who went on to be chief executives in the game is hardly exhaustive, with coaching or punditry usually the preferred routes.

But that has not put off Andrew Barrowman, currently working his way towards a sports-focused business management degree.

The former striker, who turns 32 this month, hopes to graduate from his four-year course early next year and has set his sights on a football future with a difference.

"I want to be involved in the business of football," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"I've obviously got 16 years experience on the other side of it. I would like to be involved, whether it's within a club or an organisation. It's a unique thing rather than someone who has one of the two things. I think I'm a unique candidate.

Pat Nevin
Nevin was a Motherwell player and also chief executive at Fir Park

"I bring an insight. I know it from a player's point of view. I've gone away and done the work to get myself a degree."

Younger than many current players, Barrowman could likely have extended his playing career but says the short-term nature of the profession had become a frustration and he is now applying for jobs elsewhere.

"I retired in the summer, aged 31," he added. "I was sick of living year-to-year.

"I was at Albion Rovers. Halfway through last year, I think it was a home game against Peterhead and we were actually winning the game and I couldn't wait for the game to finish.

"I got in the car after the game, phoned my dad as always. That's the moment I decided enough's enough for me."

'Silo' culture at Scottish FA

Part of his studies involved a three-month internship with the Scottish FA.

"It was everything that I learned in my lectures and my assignments in real life," he explained.

"I did a similar internship with the PFA. Coming off the back of this one [at the SFA], I actually feel I'm in a place now that I could go and work in somewhere like the SFA and be ready to work and work in an organisation of that size.

"Before I went in there, I didn't realise a lot of the work that they did. They do a lot of good work but there's also elements that need to change.

Andrew Barrowman
Living "year-to-year" frustrated Barrowman as his playing career neared its end

"Any business, there's got to be a structure there. I think it lacks in the SFA, I think there's elements that can be improved.

"There's 160 people work in the sixth floor in Hampden. It's huge, it's absolutely massive. It becomes a bit of a silo effect where there's all these different departments and none of them are communicating with other ones.

"They're all so focused, they're on this treadmill and they've all got their objectives to meet where I think they've kind of lost sight of what their main objective is."

Coaching career?

Barrowman played for 14 different clubs - five in England and the rest in his native Scotland - and while at Dunfermline combined playing with coaching the Pars' under-20s.

"I actually got a bit of a buzz for it, I enjoyed that side of it," he explained.

"I was never one for going down the coaching route. At the moment my priority is to get my degree under my belt.

"After that, I probably will go and do my coaching badges and see where that takes me."

But he added: "I think my future lies away from the pitch."

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