Interview: Founder of Player Lens explains how to disrupt football's 'inefficient' transfer market

11 January 2021

Photo: PA Images Burnley-manager Sean Dyche is taking notes during a match. Clubs like Burnley are allowed to access the digital transfer platform Player Lens for free, with the company taking a "small percentage" of any successful deal completed on the platform.

More than 600 clubs have used Player Lens, a digital platform for transfers. The new Burnley-owners and a former Real Madrid executive is part of the ownership-group and management-team.

Ex-trader Lee Hemmings founded the company after seeing technology change his former industry. Described as "Football's LinkedIn", PlayerLens also invites out of contract players to look for clubs, and agents to find their clients a new team.

In last summer's transfer window Player Lens saw its activity grow 133 per cent and Hemmings expects a few busy weeks coming up.

"The caveat is that clubs need to bring in players because squads are being depleted, because players are playing so many games and players are out because of COVID,” he says.

Institutional and individual investors are backing the business as it seeks to shake-up the transfer market.

Lee Hemmings has seen first hand the dramatic impact technology can have on an established industry.

He was working as a trader for Goldman Sachs when the internet began to "cannibalise" his job and those of many colleagues. In a relatively short space of time, the days of having 30 to 40 traders on the trading floor were gone. Trades shifted online and a job like Hemming's – a connector between buyers and sellers of stocks and shares – was no longer needed. He could see "the writing was on the wall".

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