Is the PSL ready for proper Technical Directors?

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The modern football dispensation has been brutally compounded by the emergence of football entities, some are widely accepted and others rejected accordingly.

In this scenario, the game is evolving with numerous trends and technical ramifications, capable of either benefiting the football institutions or destroying the same tactical-technical fabric it seeks to cultivate.

FARPost Investigative Unit transcend the sensitive issue of Technical Directors (TD) and examines if the PSL is ready for such movement?

a. What is the role of a TD?

The role of the TD is simply to oversee the technical directorate of the club and act as a link between the Chief Executive Officer and the Board.

Although responsibilities can vary from club to club, with some being heavily involved in all aspects of the business, including the hiring and firing of coaches, managers, scouting, recruitment of players, long-term strategy and the improvement of facilities.

For clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich the role can be slightly more specialised, depending on an individual’s particular talents, application, support staff and budget of the club.

b. Specialised roles

In his book ‘The Football Scouting Bible’ the author Walter Steenbok makes an interesting mention and reference to the work of Verdejo Rodriguez, otherwise known as ‘Monchi’.

‘Monchi’ is credited for running the Sevilla technical directorate as a business and combines the high performance success on the field with the right economics. In this example, Steenbok outlines a perfect scenario of a TD who eclipse the scouting mantra whilst ensuring the financial gains of the football organisation.

3. The PSL technical business

A brighter look and dissection of the PSL technical structure and business, represents an inconsistent havoc and confusion of the highest order.

Some club owners perform the technical director role in buying players and further extending their duties to match day team selection.

Other clubs have Football Managers, General Managers, CEO’s and Sporting Directors, with full or limited powers to recruit, sign and release players. The amazing recruitment conundrum unfolding at Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila, where some players were officially announced by the club and only to surface elsewhere, is a broad daylight thesis of a lack of TD’s in the PSL.

4. Youth technical programme

The disastrous shenanigans at the top echelon of South African football, precipitates horribly on youth football. Except for the now defunct Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, who have a history of strong TD’s within their youth programmes, the rest of the DSTV Premiership teams operate without the youth technical leadership.

5. World trends

The success of Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, is best summed up by the presence of Txiki Begiristain, pictured below, and likewise the evolution of Juventus under different coaches, has been marshalled perfectly by Pavel Nedved.

Nedved has since been promoted to the role of Juventus Vice-President and these were the words he echoed upon his appointment.

“I do like to thank the president and the club for their belief in me so I can go on working for one of the world’s top teams. My role won’t change much. I’ll still be in daily contact with the players and coach, it’s on the pitch where I can help the most. As the years have gone by I’ve been able to see how a great club is managed. I’m fired up to defend our colours.”

6. Conclusion

The amazing exhibition of development of ex-professional players into successful TD’s as illustrated by Juve, must surely be a necessary tonic to ignite the technical movement in our country.

In a nutshell, maybe the words of the Juventus President Andrea Agnelli will awaken the dormant and suppressed technical genes of the PSL chairpersons, “Pavel has developed massively over the last five years as a board member. He’s now a skilled and knowledgeable member of staff and fully aware of all the various activities that go on inside the company. He possesses commercial perception and specific skills in the balance sheet analysis of a sporting business.”

By FARPost Technical Study Group

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