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The Importance of The Technical Director

Introduction

Since the dawn of Football Manager, we, the players, have focused our attention on any things. Some may have focused their attention on their youngsters, playing them week in, week out, in the hopes these wonderkids would become masters of the footballing world. Others may have focused on their teams tactics, hoping to string together a team not only able to play with each other, but that is also capable of outplaying any opposing teams simply through tactical play. I, myself, however, have noticed that there is one thing that is almost lacking in any Football Manager playthrough: staff. Other Dictate the Game writers have looked at various staff roles in other articles; like Nic looking at Assistant Managers here.

Now, SI have made great changes to the staff in previous years, particularly in the this year’s edition of the game, with the addition of Loan Directors, who oversee the progression of the players you have out on loan (which is an extraordinary way to progress a player). What I want to talk about, however, is the importance of the Technical Director.

Now, us addicts are very picky with new additions to the already detailed family. So, naturally, we all asked the same question: what is a Technical Director?

Well, we at Dictate the Game are determined to give you an answer. We’ll even go as far as convincing you that you should use one!

Definition

So, what is a Technical Director? Well I suppose you’re all familiar with the role of a Director of Football. If not, here’s a brief overview: A Director of Football (DoF for short) is a staff member who goes out to the find the best players and deals within a dedicated budget. As in real life, you can tell the DoF to find a player in a certain position for a certain price, and he’ll try to find someone adequate to your demands. In Football Manager, you can also ask him to only sign players of a certain age, for example, or with a certain star rating, etc… A DoF is a staff member that not everyone tends to use, however, as they like to deal with that aspect themselves rather than delegate.

Personally, I like to use a DoF to get as many deals as I can going, and if he makes a deal I’m not very fond of, I can always cancel it. A Technical Director is, in essence, very similar to a DoF in the sense where he’ll go out and try to make deals for the best staff members he can find. He can also act as an in-between between staff and manager, making the game a whole lot easier for you, with less of a workload to deal with. While Technical Directors do exist in real football, their role is mainly to provide assistance to lesser-experienced managers whilst taking on other short-term duties in their time at the club. I’m sure that someone, somewhere in the world has the same role as the one in Football Manager, but my research has turned nothing up.

technical director, FM20
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 10: Edu a former Arsenal player and now sporting director of Brazil side Corinthians poses during a visit to Emirates Stadium on October 10, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

What are the key attributes for a Technical Director?

As this role will require a fair bit of running around the staff market, the important skills for a Technical Director are still quite similar to a DoF. As you can see here, this Technical Director has great ‘Judging Staff Ability’ rating. But, it’s all well and good being able to judge how good a certain staff member is, but what if he decides a certain man is right for the job but can’t get him to sign a decent contract? That’s where negotiation comes in. A Technical Director is given a free-pass to do his job, and will need both the skills to find staff members and recruit them into the team. So, if you’re looking for this particular role, be sure to be on the lookout for those attributes.

technical director, FM20

Why is a Technical Director important?

As I previously stated, a lot of people really do ignore the whole ‘staff’ situation. The most hardcore of us will know, however, that your staff can make or break a save. How do you expect to find the best wonderkids if your scouts are useless? How do you expect your star man to recover from his injury if your medical team can’t tell the difference between a bandage and a sponge? THAT’S why staff is important. But, let’s say you really can’t be bothered to spend hours of your life scouring through the staff database. Or renewing contracts every season for an under 23’s fitness coach. What are your options? Well, new to the 2020 edition comes a Technical Director.

As previously stated, a Technical Director acts as an inbetween between manager and staff. This allows you to focus on more important things while your TD works out the finer details. Like a DoF, a TD can be given a specific set of instructions to hire only certain types of staff members. For example, if you want to sign a scout with a ‘Judging Player Ability/Potential’ at over 12 only, he can do just that for you. Similarly, he can renew contracts of staff members he deems good enough to retain their role at the club. To make these changes to the list of your responsibilities, go the ‘Staff’ screen, then click on ‘Responsibilities’. There is a list of things you can then delegate to any staff member.

technical director, FM20, technical directors
Sven Goran Eriksson talks to the media as he is announced a the new Director of Football at Notts County at Meadow Lane on July 22, 2009 in Nottingham, England.

Is a Technical Director the best staff member?

Short answer, no. There are many different staff members who all have various skills and jobs to do. It’s a contextual answer, really, because you can’t always say that a Technical Director will be the best person to hire. Especially if you’re plagued with injuries. Similarly, a Physio won’t be the best person to hire if you want to revamp your staff. But what if you can’t be bothered?

A Technical Director, for me, isn’t a crucial role in the part of your team. There are roles that come before that. Coaches, scouts and physios are all more important to me than a Technical Director. For me, this role is more of a commodity. It’s something you should get IF given the chance and money to do so. When challenging for a League title, for example, you’re going to want to have every chance you can get to do so. Hiring the right staff will definitely get you a step closer.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I do hope you learnt a fair bit about Technical Directors in this article. I certainly did just writing it! The key thing really to understand is that a Technical Director is a very similar thing to a Director of Football. Only instead of making player signings, he’ll make staff signings. As always, I want to stress the importance of Staff members. Although they aren’t the ones on the pitch scoring goals, they’ll be the ones there when something goes wrong. They will always be ready to help. So, if you truly want to immerse yourself in this beautiful game, I strongly consider picking up a Technical Director!

As always, if you like this article, why not read more?

Written by Toby Lacey

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