Wyscout: The Remote Working Solution for Burnley FC’s Scouting Team
Burnley’s Turf Moor and Barnfield Training Centre are closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but as the transfer market never sleeps, club scouting processes must go on. Here’s how this Premier League mainstay use Wyscout to continue scouting operations while working remotely.
Burnley FC technical director Mike Rigg will be the first to tell you that football never shuts down. Even during a global pandemic, Rigg’s duty to lead a team of international scouts does not cease as plans for the next transfer window and beyond are hatched.
Two key parts of the technical director role are identifying talent and player acquisition. In terms of talent identification, Rigg explains that it is actually much more time efficient to scout using video than it is to scout live from a venue.
“And you could imagine, we want to go see a player in Brazil, you can imagine the time, the cost and the effort that takes, which naturally you have to do to get over to see a player, which I have done in previous lives,” said Rigg. “And I’ve gone over to South America to watch a player and he’s got injured in the first five minutes. So you can imagine that kind of challenges that come with watching players. And then you turn up to see a player and he’s not quite doing what you want him to do.”
The solution to the problem is video scouting, something that the Burnley scouting team have are utilizing now while working remotely and not being able to scout at live matches due to social distancing precautions. Rigg goes on to explain how Wyscout is the key video platform for his team’s scouting needs.
“We can go and have a look at full games, so here’s all the history of Bayern Munich’s full games,” explains Rigg. “So their last match against Augsburg, which they won two-nil, we click on this, then obviously it breaks it down.”
With over 270 competitions covered worldwide, Burnley can scout both locally and abroad. “We’ve got everything from the National League, FA Cup, the Checkatrade Trophy. We’ve even got some footage from the Premier League Under 18s.”
The Wyscout Scouting Area combines scouting reports, curated video clips, as well as performance and career data to provide a 360-degree view on targets to provide evidence on potential signings. Rigg goes on to explain this functionality in the context of his role.
“If I click on teams in the Premier League and click on, to be non-controversial, if I click on just Burnley, then obviously all our players come up, what they’ve played, where they’ve done and then we can just do some in-depth analysis of, say, look at Woody (Burnley striker Chris Wood) and then we can look at the analysis of the goals that Woody scored,” said Rigg.
“We’re probably using this opportunity now to do a lot more analysis on players that we normally wouldn’t get to see. And we’ve got a team of scouts now that are spending all day working on this.”
Once upon a time, the role of technical director was a much more laborious task. With no digital platforms to view and analyze player footage and statistics, the ability to share scouting information was completely different.
“You know, this sounds mad, but it wasn’t that many years ago that we didn’t actually have a platform to look at players with the level of these that we have now,” said Rigg. “I remember many years ago in a different job, in order to see a player, if we couldn’t see them live, we had to send off a request to a guy who lived in Bulgaria who managed to have good access to video recordings of players who would then burn onto a DVD and then post it to us. Which would probably take a week to 10 days for us to then sit down and analyze the player.”
It’s unknown when the football world will kick back into gear as normal, but as a scouting and recruitment department, Burnley are giving themselves every chance of being up to speed by using a digital scouting platform.