Wyscout: The Remote Working Solution for Burnley FC’s Scouting Team

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.”

Burnley FC will rely on Wyscout's digital platform for their scouting and recruitment needs during times of social distancing. Credit: Burnley Football Club (Twitter).

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 allows staff to underpin subjective opinion with video evidence.

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.”

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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. 

Learn more about the Wyscout Scouting Area HERE

Check out our Pro Tips for Remote Scouting arti­cle HERE