Brendan Macfarlane - Joins Toulouse FC

wanderer paul

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Brendan MacFarlane joins Toulouse FC

Ligue 2 title chasers Toulouse on Monday announced the hire of Brendan MacFarlane as the club’s new Head of Recruitment.

MacFarlane enjoyed major successes as a scout for Championship side Brentford, working on deals including for Neal Maupay, Said Benrahma and others.

He had the following to say upon the announcement:

“It has always been a dream for me to work at the heart of a French club and I am very happy that Toulouse offered me this opportunity. The project that Toulouse are embarking upon is truly interesting and I hope to help it become one of the best clubs in terms recruitment. The work done in recent months is already very good and the aim will be to continue to adopt an intelligent recruitment strategy. I am coming here to bring my experience and to help Toulouse to perform even better.”



The Toulouse Football Club, without head of the recruitment unit since the departure of Jérôme Fougeron just weeks after his arrival, has just announced the arrival of Brendan MacFarlane.

"A dream of working for a French club"
 

Les Beeavinu

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And there ends the French pipeline. Brexit rules out future Maupay, Benrahma, Mbeumo type signings.
 

AB

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Brendan MacFarlane joins Toulouse FC

Ligue 2 title chasers Toulouse on Monday announced the hire of Brendan MacFarlane as the club’s new Head of Recruitment.

MacFarlane enjoyed major successes as a scout for Championship side Brentford, working on deals including for Neal Maupay, Said Benrahma and others.

He had the following to say upon the announcement:

“It has always been a dream for me to work at the heart of a French club and I am very happy that Toulouse offered me this opportunity. The project that Toulouse are embarking upon is truly interesting and I hope to help it become one of the best clubs in terms recruitment. The work done in recent months is already very good and the aim will be to continue to adopt an intelligent recruitment strategy. I am coming here to bring my experience and to help Toulouse to perform even better.”
A big loss for us, though perhaps French rough diamonds are not such an option for us post-Brexit. I’d hope it’d mean we had a friendly face at Toulouse.
 
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wanderer paul

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Opened up a new thread. Moved posts here too. :sorted:
 
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wanderer paul

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A big loss for us, though perhaps French rough diamonds are not such an option for us post-Brexit. I’d hope it’d mean we had a friendly face at Toulouse.
Basically that is why!! We've left Europe!!
 

AB

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Basically that is why!! We've left Europe!!
Well yes. Though that is the same for all our competitors. But the flipside is that the English lower leagues are on their uppers so there may be value there, just as there is in lower rated countries than France where the chances of good young players making national squads and so getting the points for a work permit are higher.
 

Banana

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Definitely a competitive advantage eliminated there. The smaller the available talent, the more difficult it is to obtain an edge.
 

brentfordfc4ever

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As always, there will be a mitigation plan. I just love this club right now and love knowing we are in good hands
 

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It wasn’t just Brendan, there’s a network of local scouts. I wonder what happens to them.
 

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Indeed, a shame but with the new regulations, his impact would be vastly reduced. I do wish we hadn't left the EU (personally) but it's now up to us to try and find new competitive advantages.

Brendan was a good scout, has helped progress the club quite far with the signings he's been a part of.
 
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wanderer paul

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:backtotopic:
 

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If/while we remain in the Championship, might we still not be able to sign at least some EU players still?

I only ask because before Brexit, the work permit criteria for eg the SPL/English lower league clubs signing non-EU players were lower than for the English Prem.

Aiui, the basis was that you couldn't expect those clubs to compete for the same foreign players as those the PL were looking to sign. While at the same time they were losing their best domestic players to the big PL clubs.

Work Permit criteria vary, but basically they're designed to prevent clubs signing overseas players simply because they're cheap, rather than because they're better than they could reasonably get at home.

So if, for example, the average domestic player at your club was earning, say, £10k pw, then you had to offer at least that amount to the new signing. Similarly, you could get a permit for eg an Ivory Coast international (i.e. pretty good), but not for eg a Nepali or an American Samoan (pretty crap). And, of course, the transfer fee paid had to show that you're not importing cheap labour, unless available on a free.

Therefore come July, if we find that domestic players' values all rise, as they surely will, then maybe little old Brentford might still be permitted to sign eg a French U-21 international for £3m from Ligue 2?

Whereas a PL club could only sign a full French international from a Ligue 1 club, for £15m minimum?
 

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Thats a loss but the market is smaller.

Shame the way Brexit has hurt clubs in regards to the European market.

I wonder if we will have the same success in markets that are now open/easier to recruit form outside the UK.
 

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If/while we remain in the Championship, might we still not be able to sign at least some EU players still?

I only ask because before Brexit, the work permit criteria for eg the SPL/English lower league clubs signing non-EU players were lower than for the English Prem.

Aiui, the basis was that you couldn't expect those clubs to compete for the same foreign players as those the PL were looking to sign. While at the same time they were losing their best domestic players to the big PL clubs.

Work Permit criteria vary, but basically they're designed to prevent clubs signing overseas players simply because they're cheap, rather than because they're better than they could reasonably get at home.

So if, for example, the average domestic player at your club was earning, say, £10k pw, then you had to offer at least that amount to the new signing. Similarly, you could get a permit for eg an Ivory Coast international (i.e. pretty good), but not for eg a Nepali or an American Samoan (pretty crap). And, of course, the transfer fee paid had to show that you're not importing cheap labour, unless available on a free.

Therefore come July, if we find that domestic players' values all rise, as they surely will, then maybe little old Brentford might still be permitted to sign eg a French U-21 international for £3m from Ligue 2?

Whereas a PL club could only sign a full French international from a Ligue 1 club, for £15m minimum?
Hopefully come July we’ll be a PL club paying 15 million minimum for a full French international from Ligue 1 and no longer regarded as Little old Brentford and more medium sized Brentford.........😉
 

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Have we let him go because we don’t need him due to Brexit or has he left because he’s had a better job offer and there’s nothing we can do about it?
 

Holysmit

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Hopefully come July we’ll be a PL club paying 15 million minimum for a full French international from Ligue 1 and no longer regarded as Little old Brentford and more medium sized Brentford.........😉
I'm sure we can get Mbappe for less.
 

rebus

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Well yes. Though that is the same for all our competitors. But the flipside is that the English lower leagues are on their uppers so there may be value there, just as there is in lower rated countries than France where the chances of good young players making national squads and so getting the points for a work permit are higher.
I’d say the opposite as English players are a premium, even if most clubs are skint. I also suspect we’ll be looking at non-league a lot harder in future.
 

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Thinking about it, when viewed as an "industry" (ugh!), English football - and not just the PL - is a real success story for UK plc, a world leader in fact.

As such, it produces billions in revenue each year for the Treasury, when you count players' taxes and NI contributions, employment for thousands of non-playing staff, VAT on ticket sales and other items, the sale of overseas TV rights and foreign investment generally. Also attracts thousands of foreign visitors/tourists etc.

And when it comes to players, at present there can't be more than a couple of thousand (max) currently plying their trade here, so it's not like eg half a million Poles immigrating into the UK to do all sorts of jobs, some of them low-skilled/low-waged, which arguably are doing jobs which UK workers could do. (And no, I'm not trying to open up the Brexit dabate etc, I'm merely pointing out that EU footballers are relatively fv.ew in number, whilst relatively high earners).

Therefore if Football got its act together, it should be able to make a very compelling case for not having work permit criteria set so high as to risk harming the Goose that lays the Golden Egg etc?
 

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I’d say the opposite as English players are a premium, even if most clubs are skint. I also suspect we’ll be looking at non-league a lot harder in future.
Don't forget Scotland, Wales and NI, also ROI, whose adult players still won't require a work permit under the Common Travel Area .

(Though obviously other English clubs will be on the case, too)
 

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Yep one of the benefits of the political thing... anyway our DoFs will have to work just that bit harder to get players to come here , smaller pool to fish in, competing with every other club in the EFL etc etc Keep the faith :sorted:
 

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I would have thought Ligue 1 would be one of the first places we will look if we are promoted. Players who have featured regularly will get work permits, the standard is very high, and the TV deal has collapsed.

The Maupay, Benrahma and Mbeumo type lower league signing may be off the table now but I would still expect us to have an eye on France, especially if we are a Premier League team.

Anyway, thanks to Brendan for some absolute diamonds.
 

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And there ends the French pipeline. Brexit rules out future Maupay, Benrahma, Mbeumo type signings.
Nothing to do with me Guv and if proof were needed re. the effects on our club of that vote then...
 

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That’s true but the standard is generally poor.
Agree, but get them young (18-21) and give them top quality coaching and development. Stuart Dallas, for instance, was a late developer:
"After a fine 2009/10 season for Coagh United [Amateur side], Dallas signed for Crusaders in the summer of 2010 aged 19, training once a week and earning £70 a week."
Stuart Dallas - Wikipedia

He was 21 when he signed for Bees in Lge One and now 8 years later, he's a PL regular with Leeds, with 52 caps incl the Euro Finals.

Meanwhile since then, Crusaders are one of 4 or 5 NI clubs who have gone f-t, while all of the ROI top division clubs are f-t, so standards are rising.
 

Simon C

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It wasn’t just Brendan, there’s a network of local scouts. I wonder what happens to them.
Wherw did Farid fit into all this? I assume all bar Brendan were on casual contracts
 

jlove

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Wherw did Farid fit into all this? I assume all bar Brendan were on casual contracts
Farid was covering the South West but I can't imagine he was actually employed, just given specific targets to report on and paid on that basis.
 

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The consequences of it are actual, not political, and it's the consequences that we have to live with, including the constraints on football clubs' recruitment.
Playing devils advocate, you could say it’s played perfectly into our hands timing wise. Everyone else has been trying to copy us for a while and no doubt some, like QPR, will have dipped into these markets successfully eventually using better scouting data which is more widely available than it was 3 or 4 years ago. But now that’s all gone tits up because of brexit. Us on the other hand have squeezed every last £ out of those previously untapped markets, and now have the ‘big bucks’ to sign established players who have international caps and qualify for visas. The signings we’ve made the last few windows are a mile away from the players we were taking on when Maupay signed in terms of cost and quality. For every Maupay there was a couple of Hoffmans or Djiricins.

Our (arguably) first choice starting 11 is Raya, Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Janson, Henry, Da Silva, Norgaard, Jensen, Canos, Fosu, and Toney. I may be wrong, but I believe none of their signings would have been effected by Brexit as they were all UK based prior to joining us or had the required amount of youth and senior international caps.

There are hidden gems and unrealised potential at international level as well, just ask Christian and Mathias 😏
 

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Thinking about it, when viewed as an "industry" (ugh!), English football - and not just the PL - is a real success story for UK plc, a world leader in fact.

As such, it produces billions in revenue each year for the Treasury, when you count players' taxes and NI contributions, employment for thousands of non-playing staff, VAT on ticket sales and other items, the sale of overseas TV rights and foreign investment generally. Also attracts thousands of foreign visitors/tourists etc.

And when it comes to players, at present there can't be more than a couple of thousand (max) currently plying their trade here, so it's not like eg half a million Poles immigrating into the UK to do all sorts of jobs, some of them low-skilled/low-waged, which arguably are doing jobs which UK workers could do. (And no, I'm not trying to open up the Brexit dabate etc, I'm merely pointing out that EU footballers are relatively fv.ew in number, whilst relatively high earners).

Therefore if Football got its act together, it should be able to make a very compelling case for not having work permit criteria set so high as to risk harming the Goose that lays the Golden Egg etc?
I believe that the English FA has had a massive input into these regulations. If you look carefully at the criteria on the Government web site then the picture does not look quite so difficult to import EU workers. I think it is the FA using BREXIT to mask their continued search for ways to improve the standard of the international team. An extension if you like of Home and Club developed players. It would have been the FA who negotiated with the Government re foreign workers for the football industry.
 

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The FA Points Based System for Governing Body Endorsement (that anyone can search) that was agreed with the Home Office is not the point of discussion here. It is that the effect of including EU footballers in GBE, requiring appearances for club and country, that restricts the talent pool for BFC recruitment to players who are already 'conspicuous'. Therefore, having an extensive scouting network across other European Leagues at many levels is reduced in value. Speculatively, this may have caused Brendan to cast his eyes elsewhere for a career move.
 

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I believe that the English FA has had a massive input into these regulations. If you look carefully at the criteria on the Government web site then the picture does not look quite so difficult to import EU workers. I think it is the FA using BREXIT to mask their continued search for ways to improve the standard of the international team. An extension if you like of Home and Club developed players. It would have been the FA who negotiated with the Government re foreign workers for the football industry.
That makes sense, all right.

That said, the FA can't speak for Scotland/SFA, Wales/FAW, or NI/IFA.

So you could conceivably get a situation whereby clubs in those countries might be permitted to "import" an EU player, establish and develop his worth before selling him on to an English club, like eg Virgil Van Dijk to Southampton via Celtic. (I know being Dutch, he could have signed directly for an English club at the time anyhow, but not anymore).
Another current example is Morelos (Colombian) at Rangers. Regardless of whether he's good enough to play even at Championship level, never mind the PL, the point is it's very doubtful he'd have got a work permit to go straight from his one season with HJK of Finland to any English club, especially when he only cost £1m(?).

Maybe you could see English clubs forming partnerships, formal or informal, with clubs in Scot/Wales/NI to facilitate this kind of deal?
 

rebus

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Playing devils advocate, you could say it’s played perfectly into our hands timing wise. Everyone else has been trying to copy us for a while and no doubt some, like QPR, will have dipped into these markets successfully eventually using better scouting data which is more widely available than it was 3 or 4 years ago. But now that’s all gone tits up because of brexit. Us on the other hand have squeezed every last £ out of those previously untapped markets, and now have the ‘big bucks’ to sign established players who have international caps and qualify for visas. The signings we’ve made the last few windows are a mile away from the players we were taking on when Maupay signed in terms of cost and quality. For every Maupay there was a couple of Hoffmans or Djiricins.

Our (arguably) first choice starting 11 is Raya, Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Janson, Henry, Da Silva, Norgaard, Jensen, Canos, Fosu, and Toney. I may be wrong, but I believe none of their signings would have been effected by Brexit as they were all UK based prior to joining us or had the required amount of youth and senior international caps.

There are hidden gems and unrealised potential at international level as well, just ask Christian and Mathias 😏
Great post. Shame on the moderators for keeping posts on here about a stupid argument on Brexit rather than deleting them. I’ve just waded through post after post of crap.

He’s going because it’s an amazing opportunity for him.
 

Banana

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Great post. Shame on the moderators for keeping posts on here about a stupid argument on Brexit rather than deleting them. I’ve just waded through post after post of crap.

He’s going because it’s an amazing opportunity for him.
Thank you. Not all of us are interested in staying up all night to moderate people that know better.
 

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Not being up to scratch with all this transfer business
what makes it harder for us to sign players?
 
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wanderer paul

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Not being up to scratch with all this transfer business
what makes it harder for us to sign players?
Keep that discussion here

Let’s keep this thread about Brendan MacFarlane.
 

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The FA Points Based System for Governing Body Endorsement (that anyone can search) that was agreed with the Home Office is not the point of discussion here. It is that the effect of including EU footballers in GBE, requiring appearances for club and country, that restricts the talent pool for BFC recruitment to players who are already 'conspicuous'. Therefore, having an extensive scouting network across other European Leagues at many levels is reduced in value. Speculatively, this may have caused Brendan to cast his eyes elsewhere for a career move.
Thank you.
 

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Great post. Shame on the moderators for keeping posts on here about a stupid argument on Brexit rather than deleting them. I’ve just waded through post after post of crap.

He’s going because it’s an amazing opportunity for him.
I know exactly what you mean
 

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Great post. Shame on the moderators for keeping posts on here about a stupid argument on Brexit rather than deleting them. I’ve just waded through post after post of crap.

He’s going because it’s an amazing opportunity for him.
Seems like quite a low-bar you have for using that phrase "Shame on..."

Thought the whole thread makes an interesting read personally - even if I think some of the opinions being given are inaccurate I'm happy to determine and decide that for myself without the help of the mods.
 

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One thing which I didn't get about his role- although you couldn't argue with the results- was that I thought we had Smartodds data people identify talent using the stats and then someone would go watch the players shortlisted for that second filter (as well as doing the social media searches, background checks etc). We've definitely lost a fluent French speaker who knew the scene and the agents etc but the way it has been written up was that MacFarlane "spotted" players and then watched them and did everything else and then we signed them, which seems not to align with what we're told the normal process is.
 

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One thing which I didn't get about his role- although you couldn't argue with the results- was that I thought we had Smartodds data people identify talent using the stats and then someone would go watch the players shortlisted for that second filter (as well as doing the social media searches, background checks etc). We've definitely lost a fluent French speaker who knew the scene and the agents etc but the way it has been written up was that MacFarlane "spotted" players and then watched them and did everything else and then we signed them, which seems not to align with what we're told the normal process is.
Might it not be the case that he would give the name to Smartodds to perform their analysis, rather than the other way around?
 

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Might it not be the case that he would give the name to Smartodds to perform their analysis, rather than the other way around?
I suppose so, but my understanding was that they pulled a shortlist of players from a huge database based on statistics for the position being sought. I suppose if a scout sees someone in a position that we are not actively searching for then perhaps the normal workflow might differ, but you'd think scouts would be watching all of the shortlisted players that a statistical shift throws up as that would be quite enough work as is.
 

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I suppose so, but my understanding was that they pulled a shortlist of players from a huge database based on statistics for the position being sought. I suppose if a scout sees someone in a position that we are not actively searching for then perhaps the normal workflow might differ, but you'd think scouts would be watching all of the shortlisted players that a statistical shift throws up as that would be quite enough work as is.
There's probably a lot of "noise" in those stats. The underlying reason for them is to predict the outcome of matches, not identify who are the best players in a number 8 shirt in the world.
 

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I suppose so, but my understanding was that they pulled a shortlist of players from a huge database based on statistics for the position being sought. I suppose if a scout sees someone in a position that we are not actively searching for then perhaps the normal workflow might differ, but you'd think scouts would be watching all of the shortlisted players that a statistical shift throws up as that would be quite enough work as is.
That 'database' is probably very light on the lower and semi-professional leagues, so I'd guess both 'stat-driven' scouting and grass roots scouting are used in combination. I'm not sure how we identified players like Fin Stevens by using a huge database, perhaps only to know that he's been in the Arsenal Academy.
 

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