How Football Manager played a role in the rebuilding of Hibs

Sporting director tells Hibs Talk podcast about his start at the club

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 2:33 pm

Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie has revealed that the club used Football Manager as part of their process as they sought to rebuild the squad following relegation to the second tier.

Mathie was hired as head of recruitment in August 2014 as the Easter Road side restructured everything behind the scenes following Terry Butcher's disastrous spell.

It was the first time the club had hired a sporting director, but with budget restrictions due to the descent into the Championship and dwindling crowds, the former Motherwell defender had to improvise somewhat in the role.

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Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie. Picture: SNS

He told the Hibs Talk podcast: "When I first came into the role in 2014 it was just a desk and a laptop that I had. There were a few youth team scouts at the club but there wasn't a formal first-team scouting department. And there wasn't really a budget to increase staff or technology to where we've got it just now.

"So one of the first things we did - and maybe I shouldn't be saying this - is that we got in touch with a guy who was able to get us the Football Manager database so we could use it.

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"So we were able to use the information in Football Manager, and I mean the front-end stuff like players, current clubs, date of birth, contract expiry, which is pretty accurate. He wasn't taking player ratings or any of that sort of data into it. Just using it to build a database for our club.

"We used that to build a basic spreadsheet so that when guys were going to games they could write reports and tie it up with the guys from the Football Manager database."