Burnley Boss Vincent Kompany on Family, Boardrooms, and Politics

Kompany: My father’s story is something I’m very proud of

Vincent Kompany, the esteemed Burnley manager, reflects on his upbringing in Belgium and contemplates whether his innate leadership qualities could have led him astray. In an interview with TNT Sports’ Sign Up, the Manchester City legend discusses how his parents’ influence guided him towards making the right choices in life. While he has no intentions of following in his father’s footsteps in politics, Kompany advocates for greater diversity in management positions, including those within football’s boardrooms.

As a former Premier League stalwart and now a manager in England’s top flight, Kompany is experiencing his inaugural season in the role. After dominating the Championship and securing promotion last season, his Burnley side has struggled in the early stages of this campaign, currently sitting second from bottom after 10 matches. However, Kompany’s fighting spirit remains unwavering, a trait instilled in him by his parents.

Kompany’s father, Pierre, fled what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo during President Mobutu’s dictatorship and settled in Belgium in the 1970s. He went on to become the country’s first Black mayor. Kompany expresses immense pride in his father’s story, as well as his mother’s strong convictions against injustice. Raised by passionate individuals, Kompany, along with his brother and sister, possesses an unwavering determination and drive that fuels their motivation.

Despite his extraordinary success throughout his career, Kompany acknowledges that his path could have been different. He fondly recalls his childhood, which included enriching educational experiences and lively debates at the family table. However, he also faced challenges, such as his father losing his job, his parents’ separation, and living in a tough neighborhood. Kompany was even expelled from school and the national team at a young age. Nevertheless, his positive outlook and leadership qualities helped him make the right decisions and achieve the rewards he enjoys today.

While Kompany has no interest in pursuing a career in politics, he calls for change in leadership positions, including those within football. Having experienced racism throughout his life, he believes that empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds can only lead to positive outcomes. Kompany emphasizes the need for more diversity in boardrooms, where differing opinions can foster change and prevent institutions from being one-sided.

As Burnley prepares to face Crystal Palace following a defeat to Bournemouth, Kompany remains focused on his current project and does not dwell on past glories. Transitioning from player to manager has been a healthy process for him, allowing him to move forward and prioritize his current role. While he acknowledges his illustrious playing career, it is not at the forefront of his mind. Kompany’s primary goal is to excel in his managerial position and be the best at what he does now.

Fans can catch the Fulham v Manchester United match on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate, with coverage starting at 11:00 UK time on Saturday, November 4. TNT Sports is available on major TV platforms, including discovery+, BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.

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