QSL to hire Sporting Director to drive 'seller's league' vision
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On the Move
League Focus
QSL to hire Sporting Director to drive 'seller's league' vision
by Jonathan Rest

The Qatar Stars League is on the search for an experienced Sporting Director to oversee a centralised scouting division as part of a radical overhaul of player recruitment.

We’ve had a large turnover of foreign players and coaches in the past years. So, we are raising the red flag for we believe change is necessary at this point. We are going to educate the clubs, support them and work with them on these changes.
Ahmed Khellil Abbassi
Executive Director of Competitions & Football Development, Qatar Stars League

With the spotlight on Qatari football this year with the FIFA World Cup, plans are being put in place to further improve the domestic game, focusing on how clubs are run and how and where they recruit.

 

By the end of this year, the league will look to establish a Central Scouting Team (CST) to assess clubs’ recruitment strategies and guide them with new policies.

 

The CST will work with the scouts at individual clubs to help them bring in talent that is matched to each club's philosophy and requirements.

 

The CST will report to a league-wide Sporting Director, who the QSL said must have "an extraordinary global network." The recruitment process is live.

The Sporting Director and CST will be tasked with identifying players with future sell-on value, so that the QSL becomes a seller's league, not just a buyer's league.

 

Ahmed Khellil Abbassi, QSL’s Executive Director of Competitions and Football Development, said: “We’ve had a large turnover of foreign players and coaches in the past years. So, we are raising the red flag for we believe change is necessary at this point. We are going to educate the clubs, support them and work with them on these changes.”

 

The finances on offer in Qatar has made the QSL an attractive destination for big name players, like Santi Cazorla (pictured), James Rodriguez, Toby Alderweireld, Andre Ayew, Javi Martinez and Steven N'Zonzi. But all are aged 30 or over and in most cases in the final years of their playing careers.

 

The CSL said: "The responsibility of the official [Sporting Director] will not just about recruiting the right player but about understanding which player can add value as well in the future, so that a club can sell them or loan them to clubs in Europe."

 

The CST will be identifying players for 10 rather than 12 teams, with the QSL to reduce in size in time for the 2023-24 season. This will ensure more high quality and competitive matches, which will attract more spectators. 

 

Abbassi added: “We have been working on a strategy for the past couple of years on how to transform the league. What we want is good value for money when it comes to players, coaches, competitiveness, high quality matches and increase in the number of fans. We want the QSL to become a more vibrant league delivering high quality and competitive football entertainment.

 

“Our vision was to become one of the best leagues in Asia both on and off the pitch. Definitely, we are now one of the best league countries in Asia but we want to get better in terms of professionalism and football standards.”

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