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How one company handles the scouting requirements of the world’s top teams

Written by Adam Brogden

Scout 7 is a company founded in 2001, set to gather information on football players worldwide, with the sole purpose of becoming an online scouting network, following a player’s progress. This closed network allows its clients to monitor players and even helps identify transfer targets.

The company claims to have as users a vast array of clients from the Premiership and  top tier clubs on the continent. Based in Birmingham, this company works with Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Stoke, Aston Villa, West Ham, West Brom, Wigan, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Southampton amongst many others.  It also has very close ties with Aston University and with accountancy firm KTP.

A core service, known as ProScout7, has a core centre of data on 13,000 players across 130 countries, each player has his own record incorporating extensive information including key statistical analyses, contract expiry date, agent details, third party ownership on to information regarding the players history of injuries and ability to settle into a new environment.

The individual clubs can add to this information via their own scouting network adding the reports which can then be accessed by select employees of the club anywhere in the world. This is a monitoring system that will help clubs identify young talent before they become headline news and their value increases.

Also available on this system is video footage of the players and again a club can add to this player record via its own area of the data base. This also includes team sheets data and match data.

They also offer live feed footage of games being broadcast or filmed anywhere in the world. All a client has to do is log in and watch. The company acquired ownership of in 2009 and offers this unique package which has raised the company above all other scouting networks or data gathering bodies involved in the football industry.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park said: “Scout7 has been based at the Science Park since 2005 and has expanded three times within the iBIC building. It has been highly rewarding to see the impressive growth of the company, with a formidable client list that includes Uefa Champion’s League winner Chelsea, FA Premier League trophy holder Manchester City, and 1. Bundesliga winner Borussia Dortmund.

Mark Ansell, Chairman of Scout7 and former chairman of Aston Villa said: “Over the past three years, has evolved into the preferred video-based scouting solution for elite professional football clubs. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, this strategic acquisition enables us to further develop a joint product offering to maintain our position as the leading supplier of scouting and recruitment intelligence to the professional football industry. We can now embark on a highly exciting new era of further growth and expansion.”

Lee Jamison, Founder and Managing Director of Scout7 said: “In the 11 years we have served the football industry, we have seen significant changes in the way clubs structure their recruitment. Investment in online market intelligence is second nature. Today, over 2,500 professional football staff across the globe subscribe to Scout7 and products. This acquisition ensures that all subscriber content can be made available from one single source, covering video analysis, scouting reports, analytical research and general market intelligence.”

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The company claims to have 90% of premiership clubs as its clients, so the question I cannot find the answer to is who the two clubs are that do not subscribe to this system?

I have found that Arsene Wenger has spoken at seminars held by the company along with prestigious names from other sports such as Billy Beane. Plus I believe this form of data collection seems to suit Arsene Wenger’s approach to football along with Billy Beane’s adopted approach to baseball.

Is Arsenal one of the two, and if they are it may go some way to answering why we miss out on some targets. But this is an assumption. All in all this seems to me like we have now truly entered the realm of computer football management. So when we claim that some people would like to buy and sell as easily as they do within these computer games, the truth it seems, isn’t far from it.

The company’s latest venture is the expansion into South American football, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on their progress in to this football minefield and the effects it may have on scouting networks and agencies already at work in this region.

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21 comments to How one company handles the scouting requirements of the world’s top teams

  • Timmy

    If Arsenal were to be one of the two clubs not clients with scouts 7, then it must be because of this: Wyscout. Though I’m not sure if that’s the only scouting software Arsene uses.

    I’m not sure if I’m permitted to insert a link, but if I’m not please do accept my apologies.

    You can check it out here.

  • Mandy Dodd

    You certainly know some interesting stuff Adam. Must admit, I have never heard of this, but sounds like it would be a good idea for some clubs. I would not be at all surprised if we were one of the two, Wenger seems to rely a lot on Rowley and Grimandi. Wonder if Newcastle are the other one – Carr seems to do a good job…..shame we missed on Cabaye for 4 million! Read a transcript whereby David Dein…yes I know…seemed critical that we do not go overboard on embracing new technology….but it was on a site that could be seen as slightly critical of the club. But would not be at all surprised if we were one of the two. With the erm…quality of some recent buys, maybe there is a case for us signing up, however we did pull Santi C and Monreal out of the hat from somewhere, maybe Scout 7 have not yet discovered the gift for us , that , unfortunately for them is Malaga.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Nice read, I dint know such a system existed.

    The thing about us missing out on players, well I think were not in for them (most of them) in the first place.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Another eye opening article Adam. It is amazing what goes on behind the scenes in the world of football.
    Never heard of such a thing before.

  • Adam

    Thanks Timmy for the link, I wasn’t aware of this platform. Looking at their data-base’s Wyscout has 175,000 players on it and Proscout7 has 130,000 players although it is 3 years older.

    It is amazing what goes on behind football and may go some way to explaining how these computer games get their data.

    Especially when wyscout started out as a hobby, amazing.

    I anyone knows of any other data collecting platforms, put a link up.

  • Arvind

    Very very interesting Adam…thanks for this article.

  • Stuart

    This is fantastic Adam, I’ve often wondered if such thing existed and (pipe) dreamed of setting something like this up.

  • Adam

    Well Stuart, I always wondered how the games companies got all the players information?

  • Stuart

    This is a player matching system for labour cover, I always imagined it being of use but wouldn’t have known where to start. Plus, the football industry would have some nasty characters looming in the shadows.

  • gouresh

    Very interesting. Does this mean the end of agents? Look at this way.this company is collecting data of all players including videoes. So then this company can tell the player to sign up with them as X number of clubs are their clients & can get the stats and offer the player to the highest bidder.

  • WalterBroeckx

    So they do like we do with the refs?

    Just a pity refs are not up for sale…. or are they? 😉

  • Phil

    My suspicion would be that Arsenal don’t use it. I spoke a few times on matters related to this with a professor at my university, Bill Gerrard who is heavily involved in sports analytics (he has worked closely with Billy Beane, IIRC, I have in fact featured an article on Untold based on a chat I had with him which is here: and (IIRC, it was a few years ago!) Arsenal prefer to do things in house, we use our own numbers for performance analysis. Perhaps it is the same for scouting, perhaps not.

  • gouresh

    @Walter: everyone & everything has a price, except integrity. for everything else there’s £, $ or €.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Wow ! Great work ,Adam , never knew things like this existed.
    Impressive .

  • bob

    Beautiful reporting.
    It begs further questions about recent perception and propaganda: Does this network (in existence since 2001, and mushrooming since) give even the slightest pause to (until recently a mantra-like article of faith) the notion of anyone (yes, us) having a brilliant far-flung scouting system that is able to spot the emerging, bargain talent that supposedly had not appeared on the (purportedly inferior talent spotting capability) of the collective radar screen? Or, urban myth aside, is it now the reason (if not excuse) that the touted far-flung scouting system is not disgorging the gems at anything close to its purported ability to do so not so very long ago?

  • Ong Bing

    Very, very nice post Adam, thank you. Open my eyes for behind the scene of football.

    How old is the youngest players in their list?

    Barca found Messi at 9 (I think?), we also found Jack at 9.

  • Adam

    For anyone interested, I could use a mole.

  • Adam

    I maybe starting to understand why these platforms exist.

  • Adam

    So these companies are in cahoots with the bookies and advise on rights ownerships as well.

  • Adam

    And this lot seem to like all the papers, its good to talk

  • Woolwich Peripatetic


    My understanding was that Arsenal might use such a system to draw up a long list but the actual scouting process is somewhat different to other clubs.
    I’ve touched on it before but Arsenal’s method is to de-contextualise the player being scouted. The centre forward repeatedly in good goalscoring positions that no-one passes to. The attacking midfielder who makes wayward passes because his team aren’t on the same wavelength. Both those players would have poor stats with a body like Opta.

    Patrick Vieira wasn’t exactly an unknown when we bought him but he was written off by Italian football (rather like a certain DB10) because his style of play didn’t work in the Italian game.
    Thierry Henry was an over-priced marginally effective winger who became the finest LWF of his generation.