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With Wednesday’s huge Premier League crunch match between Manchester’s two titans; it is surely to be a defining moment affecting many different clubs rather than just the Mancunian duo. But how are premier league football clubs; and indeed the world-leading clubs of the world, using technology to further their success and realise marginal gains to try and get a step ahead of the competition?


FIFA’s Football Technology

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) are huge in encouraging football clubs across the world to adopt new technologies which seek to enhance the most popular sport on Earth for everyone from players to fans, stakeholders to management teams. The Football Technology section of the FIFA website has a plethora of resources on there from blog posts talking about different softwares and tech; to information on connecting the technology suppliers with the different clubs at all levels. There are also elements on the website that talk about the quality standards that clubs must adhere to – this is taken from the FIFA Quality Programme section of the website:

“The programme aims to endorse products that meet strict quality requirements to improve the game and to protect the players, clubs and associations.”

“All standards are built on scientific findings from a number of relevant disciplines identifying players’ needs, various aspects of safety, performance, durability, quality assurance and playing comfort. A global network of universities, test institutes, sports organisations and standardisation bodies are at the heart of the studies produced by the FIFA Quality Programme.”

So as you can see, research and technology is developed as a joint effort from institutions such as universities, organisations and football clubs themselves, in a collaborative way.

In one section, it references “the hidden technology of Football”, with an explainer video:

But how are clubs such as the two involved in Wednesday’s derby using software and tech to gain an advantage on the pitch?

According to Forbes, the owners of Manchester City and the various other clubs that are part of their network across the world (Melbourne City, New York City etc); City Football Group (CFG) are big advocates of using technology both on the pitch and in the boardroom to help them with their analysis of business related activities rather than just the football aspect of the club. The Forbes website says

“Since 2015, CFG has worked with SAP and uses its technology in the boardroom for functions such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and HR to improve its efficiency. It also uses SAP analytics to drive fan engagement and to improve the performance of the team.”

“Specifically, the Challenger Insight tool has been used at pitch-side to convey insights, tactics and set-piece instructions to players during matches. Part of Berrada’s role is to drive efficiency across the whole organization, but stakeholders have a say in how these measures are implemented.

This even includes Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola who has a “big say” in playing matters.”

These use cases outline Manchester City’s willingness to leave the guesswork to a minimum and use rational, logical decision making tools in order to speed up processes and automate much of the data crunching and gathering that would otherwise have taken vast periods of time. Now, large sums of analysis are available at the touch of a button which has helped Manchester City to break records on the pitch.

On the West side of the City, Manchester United are renowned as a global powerhouse with their revenues for the Year ending June 2018 hitting a record £590m. With the club back in the Champions League for the 2018/19 season; the club are expecting to make between £615m and £630m this year.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: “Our increased revenue expectation for the year demonstrates our continued strong long-term financial performance which underpins everything we do and allows us to compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive transfer market.”

This is all down to the large corporate sponsorships and partnerships that the club signs but also the growing prominence of using tech to help them move further into the digital space; attracting a truly global fanbase.


Businesses taking note

Businesses need to take the advice of what football clubs are doing and use software and automation to help build on their existing success. By automating and managing processes using bespoke software and technology; businesses are able to increase profitability through efficiency, reducing mistakes and human error whilst reducing unnecessary processing.

We work across a number of business sectors to provide effective bespoke software solutions in order to improve business efficiency. To discover more of what we can do, get in touch with our team today.

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