Running Your Own Football Business

May 2, 2024 4:10 pm Published by

Neil Timms shares his journey owning a football business with Leisure Leagues

Neil Timms, Leisure Leagues Franchisee & Football Business Owner

At Leisure Leagues, we take immense pride in the success stories of our franchisees as they build their own football business. Today we catch up with Neil Timms, who has been a franchisee with us just under a year. Read on as Neil shares his experience and insights, offering a glimpse into his journey with Leisure Leagues.


Q: Neil, thank you for taking the time to chat with us and telling us about your franchisee’s perspective. Could you tell us about your background and what led you to become a Leisure Leagues franchisee?

Neil: “I’ve been a Leisure Leagues franchisee for nearly a year now. I originally bought the postcode area for Shrewsbury last May and chose to purchase the additional area of Telford in October. So I currently have two areas and currently run a league in each area.”

Q: That’s fantastic, Neil. Can you share some highlights from your experience running the leagues in Shrewsbury and Telford?

Neil: “My Shrewsbury Monday league has been running since September and has 2 divisions of 6 teams, in which I currently have 10 teams playing out of a possible 12. Teams can fluctuate up and down (which is absolutely normal) as teams inevitably come and go throughout the year. I began with 4 teams and quickly extended to 6. By the November, I had a second division and have maintained that since.

My Telford league has 2 divisions of 8 with 14 teams currently playing. I began the league in November with 6 teams and quickly went to 8 teams. I have recently expanded to a second division so can now host 16 teams. This league also runs well with few issues currently.”

Q: It sounds like you’ve had great success with both leagues. How has the support and training from Leisure Leagues helped you along the way?

Neil: “The support I have been given has been fantastic throughout. Jon has been there for me every step of the way as I’ve looked to grow my leagues and Chris too if Jon is not around.

I have other businesses that I run and so needed understanding from the franchise about when to start the league. I was given this and I communicate regularly with Jon and Chris which has been absolutely key for me on my journey. The training is thorough and you are given materials to go away with and a system of help videos to ensure you are equipped in all situations. 

For me personally, I pick up the phone to Jon or Chris if I need help and they are extremely experienced and able to assist me with any situation I’m faced with.”

Q: That’s wonderful to hear. Can you tell us about the operational support you’ve received from head office?

Neil: “I am often in touch with head office. They are probably sick of hearing from me because I’m always in touch but I regularly lean on the team there to assist with equipment choices, purchases, operational issues and advice on dealing with teams.

I have never contacted the team and been left disappointed. Everyone I have come across has been kind, given me their time and above all been competent at their job and able to assist me.”


Q: Financial success is the key factor in any business venture. How have your leagues performed financially?

Neil: “Both of my leagues make me a profit and have done so pretty much instantly. The model works well and you have the choice on how much time and money you invest. You can make a profit without spending huge amounts but of course investment can help to advertise and grow more quickly.

I currently make anything between £500 and £1000 a month depending on expenditure that month. However I only run two leagues and there is certainly room to achieve more.”

Q: Beyond financial gains, how have the leagues impacted the community?

Neil: “The leagues have brought a number of people together to play football. Particularly when adding single players to teams. Both leagues have a good atmosphere and create a buzz on the evenings they take place.

It is great communicating with the players and being there on the night to talk to them. I love this part of the business as you see how much they enjoy their football.”

Q: Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial. How have you managed to strike that balance with your other commitments?

Neil: “The time you put in is again very much your own choice. You can run leagues with lesser input and I know most franchisees pay staff to run their leagues, so you do not need to attend. There are multiple possibilities with a business like this.

I put in a few hours a week admin and do spend time growing my social media page as I feel this is integral to helping the business perform well.

I attend both my leagues currently – I may reduce this but to be honest I enjoy going and feel my presence helps the league run well.”

Q: You’ve certainly made an impressive start with your new venture! Are there any plans in place to expand your business further, and what strategies do you have in place to achieve your growth targets? 

Opportunity and flexibility are key words here. I choose to run two leagues but could in theory set up others on multiple nights including women’s leagues, veterans, students…

The possibilities are endless but it depends on how big you want it to be and the commitment you can put in. I run other businesses so I’m happy to keep to two leagues currently. My plan is establish up to 24 teams in Telford and hopefully extend to at least 16 in Shrewsbury. I advise to focus on maximising the potential of one or two leagues before doing multiple nights.

Q: Lastly, what would you say to an aspiring franchisee considering joining Leisure Leagues?

Neil: “Overall, my experience with Leisure Leagues has been terrific. It has been great fun and a great challenge to grow the leagues from scratch and building my own football business. I would recommend the franchise as an opportunity to anyone, particularly as it is so flexible and can be tailored to suit your own ambitions and circumstances.”


Neil’s journey with Leisure Leagues exemplifies the opportunities and rewards that await franchisees within our network. His dedication, coupled with the support and resources provided by Leisure Leagues, has enabled him to build thriving football leagues and make a positive impact on the community. We thank Neil for sharing his insights and wish him continued success in the growth of his football business. 

Well done Neil!

Check out Neil’s newest league in Telford by clicking here

Want to begin your journey to becoming a Leisure Leagues franchisee? Find out how by clicking here

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This post was written by Jon D'Arcy

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