Gabriele Zamanga and Micheal Edwards are 2 predictable names, mentioned already. Zamanga earns the top spot in this ranking given his ability to drive Atalanta’s remarkable performance improvement with relatively few resources, and create significant value in the process.
Other notable mentions go to Max Huiberts of AZ Alkmaar (2nd) and Luis Campos of Lille (3rd). Huiberts’ Alkmaar have consistently challenged the best teams in Eredivisie and qualified for Europe, despite a small relative wage spend. One reason is their leading academy pipeline, with the club making >$45m in 21/22 from the sales of 3 academy players alone. Meanwhile, Campos’ Lille narrowly escaped relegation in his first season but went on to win a Ligue 1 title in 20/21. Off the pitch, he created significant funds for the club through an ability to buy and sell at value, generating >€100m in net revenue from the sales of Pepe and Osimhen for example.
Of course, ‘Rule 5’ means these results only provide an indication of the best candidates. An extended analysis might consider the top 100 candidates and use additional filters to arrive at a shortlist for interviewing (e.g. likelihood of leaving current position, expected wage demands, language constraints).
Data provides a powerful and underutilised tool within sporting director searches, but must be used smartly to deliver impact.
For more information on TFG’s Performance Intelligence services please contact Omar Chaudhuri.