Creating and Keeping a Culture: Lighting Up the ‘Dark Side’

By Dr Andrew Cruickshank As with any new-ish profession, it seems fair to say that football is still findings its feet when it comes to Sporting Directors.  There have, of course, been lots of early successes – successes which have shown the clear value of the role.  On the flip side, there have also been many cases of ‘oh **** – let’s try that again!’ As … Continue reading Creating and Keeping a Culture: Lighting Up the ‘Dark Side’

The role of networks in delivering a competitive edge

By Dr Dan Parnell A large part of the business of football is to identify talent and make efficient decisions about player and staff acquisition. The network that a Sporting Director operates plays a vital role in the process of identifying both playing and non-playing talent, such as heads of department and the first team manager. This article introduces three concepts for analysing networks and … Continue reading The role of networks in delivering a competitive edge

Role ambiguity in the Sporting Director position in football

By Dr Dan Parnell Over the past two decades, football has developed into a hyper-commodified multimillion-pound industry involving a range of stakeholders from investors, global media, sponsorships and supporters. One strategy aimed at creating more sustainable football operations, embraced in European football but received more reluctantly in English football, is the recruitment of a Sporting Director. Despite more and more clubs adopting this strategy, the … Continue reading Role ambiguity in the Sporting Director position in football

Analytics in Football – the past, the present and the future

By Professor Ian McHale It is nearly 20 years since the Oakland Athletics employed Paul dePodesta, and Billy Beane started to use analytics to gain an edge in Major League Baseball. Outside of sport, we have since entered the era of big data, and mega-corporations like Google, Amazon, and Facebook boast about using analytics in all aspects of their businesses. Elsewhere in sport, the success … Continue reading Analytics in Football – the past, the present and the future