WHAT FOOTBALL MEANS TO ME

COMMUNITY SERIES

Featuring Armin Pishro Paralegal at Glaisyers ETL

Glaisyers ETL has always had an ongoing commitment to sports. Team sports are particularly effective at bringing communities together and so many of our staff members immerse themselves in grassroots activities outside work.

We cheer along our colleagues regularly, whether it’s during our firm charity events throughout the year, or supporting their individual fundraising efforts for community projects in their spare time. We are consistently excited to see the enrichment sport brings to the everyday lives of our employees and communities.

Most recently, Armin Pishro – a Paralegal in the Restructuring and Insolvency department at Glaisyers, has been taking part in Movember with members of his football team at the club he established. In this article, Armin reflects on the opportunities football has given him and how these have shaped his life, leading him to start his legal career and contribute to so many charities and events.

I first became interested in the sport while watching a game of football when I was 7 years old: May 2005, Liverpool vs AC Milan in the Champions League Final. An introduction to football certainly doesn’t get any better than the most iconic European Cup Final of recent times. Born in Iran and growing up in England, two huge yet underperforming footballing nations, it was really hard not to get captured by the nations’ footballing spirit. No matter where I was, there was a ball being kicked just a stone’s throw away.

My enthusiasm for football continued, and at a young age, it was clear that my goal was always a career in football. A few Saturday morning youth football matches indicated my career certainly wouldn’t be as a professional footballer. Unlike many football fans though, I’m just as interested in the behind-the-scenes of football as I am in what happens on the pitch! This is why a career in law was a no-brainer for me, with the eventual goal of becoming involved in the administrative and legal work within the sport.

During my third year at the University of Central Lancashire, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the UK into lockdown. In June 2020 when the government announced the go-ahead for outdoor sports to resume, I decided to set up Tottington (Totty) Robins F.C., a local, open-age football club that plays their games on a Sunday morning in Bury. I did this because the whole country had been in lockdown for three months, and it felt like our only opportunity to socialise would be through football. I established the club to offer people who had been struggling throughout the pandemic an opportunity to join a football club and to be able to socialise once again. I used the skills I had developed as Vice Chairman of the University football team to run a team of my own.

I’d always had an interest in developing my understanding of Law, so I completed my Masters of Law in Legal Practice. During this, I studied Commercial Dispute Resolution, Employment Law and Insolvency. I took a big interest in insolvency, particularly because the club I grew up supporting, Bury F.C., had recently gone through this, so I found it very educational having the opportunity to learn more about the situation.

My passion for the sport inspired me to write my dissertation on the current measures and regulations in football that attempt to tackle the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs, comparing these to other sports. The opportunity presented by my dissertation topic taught me how each sport is governed differently and made me realise how interested I was to continue learning about the sport.

In early 2021, shortly after I founded Totty Robins F.C., the country was placed back in lockdown, with no organised sports allowed to take place. This meant that all of the fixtures for the club were suspended. As a result, I decided to set up a charity 1000km run throughout March 2021. The aim was to run 1000km as a team combined throughout the month. Not only did this keep the squad active and healthy, but more importantly, we raised over £1000 for ‘The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity’. Throughout November, the members of Totty Robins F.C. have been taking part in Movember, an annual charitable event, supporting mental health and suicide prevention, as well as raising awareness about prostate and testicular cancer.

I was really excited to join Glaisyers ETL as an Insolvency Paralegal in July 2022. The firm has invested in me and allowed me to pursue my goals in Sports while continuing to carry out my duties in the Insolvency department. I also contribute to the Iranian Footballing Podcast, GolBezan, as a translator of interviews with International Iranian footballers from Persian to English.

Since I moved to the UK as a four-year-old, football has given me a platform to develop my skills, make friends and support my local community. This is what football means to me.

At Glaisyers we’re proud supporters of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, a social enterprise which offers guidance and training to assist mental health, particularly in the workplace. Part of this is encouraging our team to bring their whole selves to work, and allowing them to feel seen, heard and valued.

If you would like to support Armin and the Totty Robins’ Movember challenge, you can do so here.