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FM23: What Makes a Good Director of Football?

The Director of Football has been part of Football Manager for a few versions now. The role has been fleshed out to incorporate their responsibilities throughout the game. The Director of Football forms part of your Recruitment Team on Football Manager which consists of the staff member responsible for player scouting and contracts.

Do you want to find another type of backroom staff member? Check out the others below!

Although there is not an academic definition of a Director of Football, one can broadly define it as a senior executive with a sport-specific management remit. The Director of Football’s responsibilities might vary depending on several different factors such as; What country they work in, what league/level they operate in, and what type of club they are hired in. In Germany and Italy where the Director of Football has existed for quite a while, the Director of Football role might be more defined and clearer than perhaps in England where many clubs do not have a tradition of having a Director of Football, before now.

In days gone by, it used to be that the manager was the supreme leader of a football club. They would be directly involved in almost every aspect of the club, be it training sessions, working on transfers and contracts or laying foundations for the future. The buck stopped with them. The presence of a director of football acts as an intermediary between the manager and the board and may relieve pressure on a manager by handling aspects away from day-to-day coaching, allowing a manager to focus on on-pitch performance. Those who take up roles as directors of football usually have a history in the sport and a wide network of contacts, while others simply have a background in similar administrative roles.

The Director of Football was introduced on Football Manager in order to relieve some of your tasks in transfers and contract negotiations. Giving them too much power may hurt your side in the long run as his transfer policy and responsibilities can differ from what’s required of your preferred tactics and playing style.

Why hire a Director of Football?

With the growing financial risk in the transfer market, the majority of premier league clubs have now hired a Director of Football (or equivalent) to make the success rate of transfer as high as possible. The recent need for a Director of Football might be justified by what the experts call “demand-pull inflation” which the football industry is now experiencing. Briefly explained, this is the scenario where there is an increase in the supply of resources (money……mostly tv-money) while the supply of goods stays the same (players). Clubs get more transfer funds, while the number of world-class players available to buy stays constant. Consequently, the prices for players go through the roof. Hiring a Director of Football with, for instance, a business background and football knowledge might be ideal to minimize the financial risks associated with sporting decisions. This is exactly what the majority of Premier League clubs have been doing in the last few years.

Compared to the Technical Director who has more responsibility regarding staff recruitment, the Director of Football has responsibilities linked to players. If you have the luxury of being able to recruit or your club already has a Technical Director and Director of Football recruited then it is vital that you disseminate their responsibilities in a way that uses the roles to their full effect.

The Director of Football can undertake numerous roles on Football Manager including:

  • Recruiting players
  • Handling incoming transfer offers
  • Negotiating player contracts
  • Assigning scouts assignments
  • Attending press conferences
  • Support with tactical decisions including opposition instructions
  • Support with touchline instructions during matches

Understanding staff responsibilities can be difficult if you do not know where to look. In order to assign the Director of Football to the roles that you would like to undertake navigate to the following page on Football Manager:
Staff > Responsibilities

Within the staff responsibilities, if you have a Director of Football recruited you’ll be able to assign certain responsibilities.

Historically, the recruitment of a Director of Football and how effective the role is has mixed results. Arguably, the most successful Director of Football is Manchester City’s Txiki Begiristain. Begiristain is the man responsible for some great Barcelona signings, including Dani Alves, Rafa Marquez, Yaya Toure and Eric Abidal. At Manchester City, he has been responsible for many successful transfers since being their Director of Football.

What staff attributes should I look for when recruiting a Director of Football?

Given the responsibilities that can be assigned to a Director of Football, it stands to reason that Judging Player Ability, Judging Player Potential and Negotiating are the main staff attributes to look for.

Judging Player Ability Description
Judging Player Potential Description
Negotiating Description

See the table below which includes staff with the recommended staff attributes rated at least 15.

NameNatAgeClubJudge AbilityJudge PotentialNegotiating
Mateu AlemanyESP58Barcelona151519
Federico GarcíaMEX48171718
Dan AshworthENG51Newcastle152017
Txiki BegiristainESP57Man City181715
Andrea BertaITA45Atlético161815
Zeljko BuvacBIH60Dinamo Moscow171815
Luís CamposPOR57PSG182018
Federico CherubiniITA51Juventus181816
Cristiano GiuntoliITA50Parthenope181816
Antonio CordónESP58Betis181815
Sven MislintatGER49Stuttgart151915
Omar HufstaderUSA46161717
Max EberlGER48161815
Michael EdwardsENG42171719
Paul MitchellENG40Monaco181815
Andray ModesteGRN43151717
Fabio ParaticiITA49Tottenham202015
Igli TareALB48Lazio161617
Mikel UriarteESP45171617
Marcus MannGER38Hannover181917
Florian MauriceFRA48Rennes151615
Luís GonçalvesPOR69FC Porto161817
Alexandre MattosBRA44Athletico Paranaense171515
Piero AusilioITA49Inter161516
Cléber RomualdoBRA57ABC151515
Massimiliano NotariITA50Parma151715
Roberto OlabeESP54Real Sociedad161715
Sandro OrlandelliBRA51RB Bragantino161615
Victor OrtaESP43Leeds171916
Carlo OstiITA64Sampdoria161615
Marc OvermarsNED49Antwerp151515
Matt CrockerWAL47Southampton171717
Dimitri de CondéBEL47KRC Genk151615
Giovanni RossiITA56Sassuolo151515
Oliver RuhnertGER49Union Berlin161617
Rouven SchröderGER46Schalke 04181917
Nelson RodriguezUSA37151717
Ramón TejadaESP48Huesca161515
Philip GilesENG46Brentford151618
Julian WardENG41Liverpool151515
Ross WilsonSCO39Rangers151518
Massimo TaibiITA52Reggina161615
Paulo CarneiroBRA71161818
Oleg YarovinskiyRUS40Rubin171517

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Written by TheFMTeacher

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