Technical Director or Soccer Manager ─ The Differences and What They Mean
If you are an avid football fan and supporter you will know all too well that football is the number one sport around the world, and for good reason too. It does not discriminate, it can be played by all ages, races, and demographics, and even eliminates language barriers so everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy and experience the game.
Football is centuries old games which has been documented as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries in Asia. Since then it has evolved significantly in both rules, playing pitches and venues, equipment, and team kits, and continues to push the sporting boundaries.
As these evolutions take place so integrates the need for increased management, and this comes in many forms. For supporters, we may have some minor inclination into what is all necessary and what procedures entail to make the beautiful game we watch on TV or in a stadium come together in what seems like a smooth and flawless proceeding.
But there is so much we do not see or know about, and most certainly the staffing and team members involved to create a cohesive network.
The game is more than simply big names and stars kicking a ball from end to end on a manicured lawn hoping to get it into the back of the net. What you want to discover is the behind-the-scenes operations and personnel that make it all happen.
Technical Director or Soccer Manager
Too often people assume these are the same positions or people when rather they play significantly different roles yet offer support to the other to bring balance to the team and football club. Let’s take a quick look at what makes them different, why each is needed for a successfully run football team, and why both must be involved and function better together over opting for one or the other.
What you need to understand initially is that the first is a strategic position and the other is more of a tactical position within the management team.
A technical director takes on the responsibility of overall management of a football club and looks at their goal aspects with a strategic direction at the forefront. In a senior management position, technical directors help to develop the club’s football identity and aim to develop sustainable long-term business models for the club as a whole.
The exact responsibilities do vary slightly depending on if they have more of a sporting or business focus, and some of these duties do overlap with other management positions in the club. Considering these high-paying roles come with heavy pressure their success is quickly evaluated by owners and the board of the club as to how they proceed at certain times of the football season.
Take for example Isaac Guerrero, former Technical Director of FC Barcelona Academy, or Miquel Gasparin Ferrando, Technical Director of FC Barcelona, both of whom play an integral role in the operations and running of the club and who take on the following aspects that come with being a Technical Director:
- Increase the annual revenue for the club and set revenue targets for marketing and merchandising such as ticket sales.
- In collaboration with the club’s owners and first-team coaches, assist in negotiating player wages or transfers.
- They help to develop the club’s coaching culture and overall playing style and then recruit managers or players who fit within this dynamic.
- Shirt and stadium sponsorships are always on the table and up for discussion.
- Most top European clubs have well-curated academies and the Technical Director sets up and oversees the development of potential players with the help of local and international scouts.
- Not only do they manage sports media relations but take on the added task of analyzing the club’s commercial performance as a whole.
As you can see a lot is required of this position, and qualifications, further education, and a degree in some sporting criteria is a fundamental minimum. A BA in football management or coaching is a great jumping-off point and can fast-track you to where you want to go. If this sounds like just the opportunity you have always envisioned for yourself, then why not qualify with a Master in Football Coaching at one of the top universities in Spain, and kick start your football career and adventure?
Next, we take a look at a soccer manager who essentially does what it says on the tin. Manages. A football manager is responsible for the team, the recruiting, and tactical training, and as well as speaking to the media about player performances and game day results, they help to negotiate player contracts and manage transfer window schedules.
If you had to consider one of the best football managers currently active we immediately hear the name Carlo Ancelotti, football manager of La Liga club Real Madrid. And he has been very much successful in his position.
A football manager, working with his coaching team and other managerial employees, essentially organizes the processes and work needed to produce results. He then facilitates this and aids the head coach to drive performance and bring out the maximum efficacy of the players on the team.
The importance of a football manager within the team cannot be underestimated by any means, and their responsibilities don’t lend themselves only during the season. The roles require both pre and post-season management, such as:
- Formulate an operational plan for the team, prepare contracts, and appoint personnel to execute delegated duties
- Assists with budgeting duties, sponsorships, and merchandise sales analytics
- Co-ordinate delivery of the operational plan whilst liaising between coaches, players, clubs, and the executive committee
- Check-in on quality and availability of training equipment, reports for matches with statistics, and player punctuality
- Review contracts that need renewing, resigning, or put to one side for transfers, and scout for new talent
- Set up a schedule for friendly matches to keep up with training, game-day fitness, and player commitments
At the End of the Day
In general, irrespective of your managerial position within a club, the end goal is to do your best for the club and bring out the best in the team. There is no greater sport than the beautiful game of football, a global sensation that brings cultures, religions, and loves with a diverse approach of inclusion and that this a sport, a game, for everyone.