Technical Direction

The Daily Mirror reports that “Manchester United are stepping up their search for a new technical director” (link). The search for United’s first ever Technical Director has gone on for over a year. It involves bringing in a former player “who understands the culture of the club”.

The role was originally described as a Director of Football charged with long-term planning of recruitment. There is a suggestion that the role is now one in which the Director would form part of a recruitment team, alongside the manager, and others (link).

The Daily Mirror notes “the new Technical Director would fit in within that structure rather than take it over because there is a strong feeling at Old Trafford they had a good summer which pushed the club in the right direction” (link).

Andrew Cave (2019) notes that a number of other teams have appointed Directors.

  • Manchester City: Txiki Begiristain (link).
  • Liverpool: Michael Edwards (link).
  • Chelsea: Petr Cech (link).
  • Arsenal: Edu (link).
  • Paris Saint-Germain: Leonardo (link).
  • Barcelona: Eric Abidal (link)
  • Bayern Munich: Hasan Salihamidzic (link).
  • Juventus: Fabio Paratici (link).
  • RB Leipzig: Paul Mitchell (link).
  • Ajax: Marc Overmars (link).

Andrew notes that “Winning eras are characterised by healthy funding, shrewd signings, solid coaching, strong, characterful management and an X factor that brings to life all that dull talk about talent management and the ability to motivate and steer a team”.

It will be interesting to see how each of these Directors bring their vision to these winning eras. A key issuse for me is how successful players transition into the roles that are being created and are able to guide the transformation that all of them seek.

There is a Football Association Level 5 qualification. The course has six modules with in-club support provided by an FA tutor. There are twenty-five contact days in total as a group, with workshops based at St. George’s Park and visits to high performing organisations and visits hosted by clubs. There is a three-day study to Europe. 

The learning outcomes for the course are: 

  • Self-awareness and its impact on leadership
  • Leadership philosophy and application
  • Understanding of high-performing teams
  • Knowledge and awareness of world-leading insights into first team performance recruitment, academy, and science and medicine departments
  • Appreciation of club infrastructure and alignment of resources to deliver sustainable success
  • Understanding and application of the rules, regulations and governance
  • Long-term people development skills and succession planning

There is a prospectus available for the course (link).

Photo Credits

Red Seat at Old Trafford (Gordon Ednie, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Txiki Begiristain (BBC)

Prospectus (FA)

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