In the world of football that currently has become so modern, there are still many fans who do not have any idea about the position of Football Direction. For fans who only watch football through television like in Indonesia, such a position is certainly strange. Moreover, there is no Indonesian club that has a position for Football Director.
A general description where the position of Football Director participates in the structure of club management is more or less like this: in the topmost position, there is the Chairman (or the owner), as well as the board of directors. Florentino Perez and Roman Abramovic are examples of the popular club owners.
Under them, there is the Chief Executive Officer who becomes the boss in moving the club every day. This role was carried out by Gede Widiade in Persija. A CEO oversees several figures who escort a number of club lines as a company.
Although each club has a different structure, at least there is a financial division in charge of controlling the club’s finances or the marketing division that is in charge of making money for the club through sponsorship and so on. In one line of parallel command, there is a position that we will discuss: Football Director.
Although it occupies the most important element in football, the Football Director position sounds new to some people. Arsene Wenger, the man who was very powerful at Arsenal, said: “he never understood how the Director of Football works”.
Wenger even satire asked, “Is it his job to sit on the edge of the field and instruct the players to move right or left?”
Well, the role of the Football Director, or Sporting Director, or Technical Director, is definitely not defined. The clear thing is that they become the figures that control the technical side of a football club.
Their responsibilities can vary, but it will certainly dwell on determining who would become the coach for the main team and the junior team, monitoring players at all ages, recruiting and selling players, developing long-term teams, and developing team facilities.
Because it is very closely related to football, the fillers of this position usually used to have a background as a player or coach. Despite having a very different role than the coach, both a Football Director and a Coach should work together every day.
It could also be said that the Football Director is the person who bridges a coach with his club management. If a coach wants two or three players, he will ask the Football Director. The director then carried out the transfer process with the money from the club owner.
Many people also assume that the role of a coach and a football director overlaps. This assumption also makes some coaches are feeling uncomfortable to work with the football director, as happened with Wenger.
However, several clubs have proven their success in applying the function of football director in the structure of club management. Manchester City has Ferran Soriano as CEO, then Txiki Begiristain as Football Director, then Pep Guardiola as the coach. All of them have been working together in Barcelona.
Several other famous names also hold this position. Call them Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo aka Monchi, the person who was considered the brain of Sevilla’s transfer success for the past one and a half decades. He is currently undergoing a similar position in Rome and is being targeted by Arsenal.
There is also Leonardo, the former director of PSG football who is now serving a similar role at AC Milan. Damien Comolli, who had filled the position at Tottenham and Liverpool. These names are known for being figures who recommend a player to a coach.
Manchester United has never had a Football Director, but they claim that it opens the vacancies for this position. In Indonesia, the role of Football Director can be applied to improve the player recruitment system.
For example, Persija Jakarta. If it has a Football Director who has a good vision, Persija would keep Rohit Chand from the start despite releasing him but to ask him again, and be able to sniff out Steven Paulle who will be released by the PSM. The situation in Indonesia is quite unique: many clubs have recruited players even though they do not have a coach. As a result, there are many cases of player termination contracts in the middle of their career.
As a follow up to read this article, football lovers might try to hire a Football Director in your Football game…