Why should your Club have a Scouting Department?



“I think the most important department in the club is the scouting department. Much more than managers and players. When they choose well 80% of the job is done." Pep Guardiola said this, not me. Yet, why do so many clubs still lack a Scouting Department? If you’re part of a football club or want to be one day, understanding the importance of having a football scouting department can be important for you. Many clubs have already taken this step, but some are still figuring out if they should or could. This post aims to clarify the most common reasons why some clubs still lack a football scouting department. Whether you're already in the business or trying to get in, understanding these issues may give you an edge when dealing with a real scenario of trying to start scouting tasks from scratch or improving the current ones.

1. Low Investment

Scouting can be perceived as expensive if you see it as a cost instead of an investment. You have to hire capable scouts and you'd want to give them good scouting tools. It's easier to spend the money on player salaries or infrastructure.

2. Short-Term Focus

Football can feel overwhelming at times. Some clubs prefer signing established players or hiring high-profile managers, rather than planning their future. It's tough for scouts because there is no time to prove their value before they get fired after a series of losses they are not responsible for.

3. Lack of Expertise

A functional Scouting Department requires a combination of good eyes for Talent ID, a good brain for Data Analysis and a good Network. However, many clubs lack individuals with the necessary skills and are afraid of committing to scouts who have little experience even if they are well-educated.

4. Agents do All the Work

This is one of the worst mistakes and a painkiller for the problems above. Agents are great, don't get me wrong. They often add value to clubs, especially those with lower resources, by showing them hidden players and facilitating deals. However, this limits the club's vision because their interests will not always be the same.

5. Fear of Failure

Finding talent is uncertain. Risk is always present. Not all players will perform, but the beauty is that a single correct shot can make all the difference in the team's performance and the club's financials. You're one correct decision away from greatness - wouldn't it be risky to ignore this? In case you're thinking of starting your Scouting Department or already did it and want to improve the tools you're using, you may want to check out this one here: Football Scouting Software

P.S. For 2 months, the ScoutDecision team collected testimonials from scouts in our network about their jobs, the tools they use, etc. Now you can read the results for free here: Football Scouting Survey 2024


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