The Job Description of a Sporting Director

VSI Executive Education Logo with Image of eye with blue pupil

Job Description: Sporting Director – Click here to Download PDF

Background

The Sporting Director (SD) will drive increased levels of performance and
effectiveness throughout all areas of the Club’s football operations. Working
with the CEO and First Team Manager, they will promote a strong
understanding of how each football department can best support the First Team
and implement plans accordingly. The SD will also be responsible for engaging
with the wider business functions of the club to fully align the operational vision
and business model.

Key Responsibilities

• To provide effective management and leadership to all football
departments to ensure achievement of all objectives and KPIs
• To help produce, maintain and update the Club’s football philosophy
• To ensure all football departments uphold the Club’s football philosophy
• To assist in the creation of, and to control the implementation of,
strategies for all football departments to maximise their effectiveness
and success and to hold these departments to account against these
strategies
• To implement and monitor effective and relevant KPIs for all football
departments
• Provide regular performance updates on the Club’s football departments
to the Club’s Board of Directors

The priorities for the role are:

• The post holder will work with the Manager, Chief Executive Officer and
Director colleagues to shape the strategic direction of the sports club
• Take the strategic performance lead and to provide strategic
performance planning and management advice to the Chief Executive
Officer; Board and Executive Team and head coach
• To lead Sporting club’s performance relationship with external
stakeholders
• To lead and develop a professional, high-performing team to ensure the
effective, efficient and economic delivery of performance investment and
support programmes
• To provide business-wide leadership to the sporting department of the
club working in collaboration with the club manager on day-to-dayoperations
• To provide the link between the manager and staff and the board of
directors
• To provide leadership and strategic direction of the performance
programmes to achieve consistent alignment with the club’s vision,
philosophy and business drivers
• To manage provide leadership and across the club’s talent pathways
and coach development

TECHNICAL COMPETENCIES

• Educated to degree level, with Masters Degree or equivalent
professional qualification
• Significant applied experience of high-performance sport in a
leadership role with demonstrable success
• Experience of working with elite athletes, coaches and technical staff
assisting in the design, implementation and evaluation of their
performance programmes
• Advanced knowledge and experience of the fundamental
requirements associated with operating and being successful within a
world-class sporting environment
• Demonstrable experience of leading, managing and developing multidisciplinary
high performing teams that can deliver consistently over
time

• Experience and evidence of developing and implementing change
strategies that provide competitive advantages to sporting systems
through innovative and creative solutions
• Experience of, or a willingness and aptitude for being a media
spokesperson
• The successful candidate will have a thorough understanding of a
professional footballing environment and have a modern approach to
all the technical components that support high-quality performances
on the pitch
• In addition, this individual will understand and commit to the values of
the club and be prepared to make a long-term contribution to the Club
achieving results at the highest level

MANAGEMENT COMPETENCIES

Leading through the Mission and Values
Keeps the organisation’s mission and values at the forefront of decisionmaking
and action.
Establishing the Performance Vision and Strategic Direction
Establishes the vision and strategic direction after analysing rigorous
evidence-based information and assumptions; taking into consideration
resources, constraints and organisational values and influences the highperformance
community to turn that strategy into action.

Driving for Results

Targets opportunities; establishes stretch goals; is committed to continuous
improvement and innovation; takes tough decisions; achieves goals and
stays focused.

Building Organisational Talent

Attracts, develops, and retains talented individuals; creates a learning
environment that ensures colleagues achieve their highest potential,
allowing the organisation as a whole to meet future challenges.

Team Development

An excellent people manager that uses appropriate methods and
interpersonal styles to strategically align, develop, motivate, and guide a
team through continuous development toward successful outcomes and
attainment of ambitious business objectives.
Developing Strategic Relationships
Uses appropriate interpersonal styles and communication methods to
influence and build highly collaborative and effective relationships with
business partners.

Influencing Others

Able to convey positive energy and gain the respect of the performance
community, providing wise counsel to Performance Directors and effectively
manage key relationships using appropriate interpersonal styles and
techniques to gain acceptance of ideas or plans; modifying one’s own
behaviour to accommodate tasks, situations and individuals involved.

Business Acumen

Understands and utilises economic, financial and industry data to accurately
diagnose business strengths and weaknesses, identifying key issues, and
developing strategies and plans.

Change Leadership

Continuously seeks (or encourages others to seek) opportunities for different
and innovative approaches to addressing organisational challenges.

Communication with Impact

Expresses thoughts and ideas in a clear, succinct and compelling manner in
both individual and group situations; adjusts language to capture the attention
of the audience.

Experience

• Knowledge and understanding of high-performance sport
• Knowledge and understanding of talent development and performance
pathways in a high-performance environment
• Knowledge and understanding of working with high-performance
coaches
• Knowledge and understanding of Academies
• Knowledge and understanding of what is required to support and
develop high-performance athletes
• Experience of successfully leading and managing diverse teams
• Experience of working with a diverse range of stakeholders and proven
success at building excellent working relationships
• Experience of working with partners
• Proven success at building excellent working relationships
• Proven business administration skills with success at delivering against
strategic and business objectives
• Experience of communicating with the public

SKILLS & PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

• Dynamic, strong and collaborative leader with a desire to get the best
out of people and teams

• Track record of delivery
• Excellent technical knowledge
• Emotionally intelligent influencer
• Strategic capability and innovative thinker
• Willingness to take ownership and be held accountable.
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Display sound judgment and decision-making capability
• Desire to work as a part of a cohesive, high performing senior team
• Demonstrate the highest professional standards of operation and
delivery at all times
• Excellent communicator (written and verbal) with an ability to
communicate effectively with a diverse range of people, and able to
present a highly professional image when representing
• Ability to promote and foster a team culture where values such as
excellence, hard work, service to stakeholders, honesty, integrity and
achievement are paramount
• Must also be able and willing to take responsibility for difficult decisions
• Empathy with the football culture and people, particularly highperformance
football