How to succeed as a Sports Director and not to die trying

If you are reading this, you are probably a huge football fan who, on countless occasions, after seeing the signings made by your team (or not), screamed blue murder. You must have thought:

How can they bring in such a numskull?

How is it possible to spend so much money on a player we do not need?

Or you may have simply pointed out, “this one will bring nothing but trouble “.

These are three of the most recurrent issues each year on the 1st of September, or in this exceptional year, on the 5th of October. In this post I will try to outline three aspects to be taken into account in order to achieve an adequate recruitment of players.

Well, within a well-structured team, the transfer policy is the responsibility of the sports director, who, together with the figure of the coach, analyses the needs of their team and how to reinforce the weaknesses in their game.

Therefore, the person responsible for a task of such importance should be properly educated so that he/she can ensure suitable deals and that competition does not humiliate him/her. This formation is usually replaced by people with a past in the club, not present, who support their candidacy based on remote contacts and experiences. That does not mean that owning contacts does not have prestige, since in all businesses, and football is a big one, they have a privileged role reserved.

However, no matter how good you are at cutting lemons, that does not mean you excel at making lemonade.

Then there is the senseless one who goes to the market like a monkey with two guns. Indecent amounts of money are moved around so a team should sign up for what the team lacks and not throw money away on “market opportunities”. At this point, it seems that technology can give us a break. By using Big Data, a team can detect a suitable transfer based on data and objective qualities, thus leaving their debatable intuition in the background.

In the end the transfer market, although with obvious divergences such as strict time limits, should not differ widely from hiring employees for a regular company. Thus, along with their “education”, their personality (their way of being, their ambitions, or their emotional situation) should be considered equally important, in other words, if their head is well-furnished.

I strongly believe that a simple conversation would save both parties time and trouble.

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