Alamy

4 May 2022 - 3:50 PM

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Alamy

The Transfer Hunters: Why clubs are waking up to the economic benefits of professionalised scouting operations

  • Talent identification and scouting has been revolutionised in the past decade by data driven apps like Wyscout, but clubs still spend only a fraction on recruitment what they do on agent fees.
  • Leading South American scout tells Off The Pitch successful scouting and talent identification processes can lie at the heart of a club’s on and off pitch successes or failures.
  • Why it matters: The sector is changing rapidly but talent identification remains little understood and undervalued, despite its vast impact to a club’s on and off pitch success.
  • The perspective: An algorithm that predicts whether a player will be successful is “the holy grail” but unlikely to work without human intervention.

No part of the elite football business is bigger than that of transfers. Last year, the global transfer market was worth $4.86 billion. Agents took $500 million in intermediary fees, and hundreds of millions more were paid out to players in signing and loyalty bonuses.

Yet despite the vast size of the transfer business, little attention is given to the men who inf

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