Behind the scenes, IMCF well-oiled recruiting cell is trying to influence the course next season. It remains judged on its ability to attract players who will bring a real added value to the collective. We immerse you inside the microcosm of a recruitment cell tactics. The opportunity to discover the many facets of a component deemed indispensable for success.
This is a key component of a football club that can translate in big money. Because relying on TV rights, especially in MLS, does not necessarily mean enough payouts to get big players. And clubs in the Major League Soccer have started to assimilate this key component since several years already. Visionaries, they felt that to reach the summits, it is essential to have a solid recruitment team. The goal remains clear: to combine the skills and knowledge of players across the globe, and find the rare gem, or just this player capable of meeting the needs of the manager of the team pennant. To achieve this, US clubs are structuring accordingly, and don’t hesitate to allocate a certain amount of money to lure new recruiters according to their specific criteria.
A work in the shadows
Thus, it is a true small army of recruiters who crisscross the world with the desire to qualitatively strengthen their first team. It is not uncommon to see an armada of scouts from all over the world, travelling smaller leagues to snatch this element that will improve a training thanks to its technical or physical characteristics. But how do these scouts perform on a full season? How can such an organization work by avoiding these pitfalls that could jeopardize its existence? We are revealing today some secrets from this unique world of “scouting”. Yes, Inter Miami CF has a financial surface higher than other clubs, but it must be used wisely.
It is here that the recruitment cell intervenes and activates levers that for some, go off the beaten track. But this cell is based primarily on a rule: confidentiality. Difficult to keep the negotiation of such a promising player like Matias Pellegrini, and grab him before other clubs. We finally give you a glimpse of the method that IMCF is using.
Paul McDonough, this guru…
We claim it without blinking. We are impressed by the starts, as we discover the works of such a structure. To better understand what the latter represents, let’s take a little height by placing ourselves at the top of the pyramid. Not surprisingly, there is the sports director. The man through whom everything passes. Central character, the head of the athlete embodies the recruitment strategy of the club. And this is why we expressed our joy as soon as Paul McDonough moved from Atlanta to Miami. He defines upstream with the executive, and the different needs for the team, with their degrees of urgency. Depending on the tactical organization that will be developed by the coach, positions to be reinforced are identified.
Obviously, he will then deal with negotiations on the final contract of the future recruit. In addition to validating or not the proposals of the various scouts by observing the player in question, he needs to be convincing enough to sell the merits of the sports project and the player and his entourage. Under him are the scouts. McDounough’s role is more organizational. It validates the schedules of all scouts, organizes the logistics part in case of travel and centralizes all information.
Strategists at every level
This little something in a player who must not escape the cell recruitment. It is here that Inter Miami CF needs to distinguished from the competition on the chessboard of the recruitment of players. In these unusual jobs, there is also the video analyst. A post again strategic because it is he who makes video montages of interesting players who were supervised in the week by the scouts. Subsequently, he will present all these players to the head of recruitment. Then comes a special post called “free scout”.
As the name implies, this recruiting cell member moves to areas not supervised by the club. He may also accompany scouts if they express doubts about the potential of a supervised player to play in their team. Next, comes the data analyst. A very important position in a recruiting cell, because he will collect all possible data on a player and compare them with those of other players considered interesting in different countries. A process valid throughout the season. At the bottom of this impressive pyramid are the Scouts. These cover the whole world, or a country of predilection.
They have to watch hundred of players every season
This true little army plays a vital role in the development of Inter Miami CF. Guarantor of the image of the club conveyed abroad, this one exercises with very specific precepts. In general, they supervise between three and five games a week. Then there is the invisible part of the general public. they watch video two games a week from a country in which we do not have a scout. This broadens their scope. If a player interests them, they will try to see him on at least three home games and three away games in the season. And if possible, twice in a row. They then write very detailed reports on the players interested in. Another facet of scouting: communication. It is them who initiates the first contacts with the clubs and the agents to evoke the contractual situation of the player, his salary and the amount of a potential transfer.
The work done by a recruitment cell remains colossal. According to our information, a scout can, on average, see 250 games per season, or about 2,500 games supervised per season by the recruitment cell, for as many reports written on the players. But in the end, how do they decide if a supervised player requires an investment from the club? Every three months, a meeting is held internally with all the members of the recruitment cell. The sports director or the recruitment manager takes part. Each scout presents the videos of the players of their championship that he finds interesting to recruit for the club. If the player is unanimous, the recruiting manager, accompanied by the Scout of the country where the player is playing, will move in person to supervise him.
Except, we have David Beckham
It is at this point that the first exchanges take place with the agent or the president of the club concerned. Then the management starts negotiations. With a happy ending or not … According to our information, the operation of a recruitment unit can represent more than one million dollars per season. The price to pay to debauch players who can transform a team, and stay ahead of the competition … Luckily, we have David Beckham and his wide web of network.