Asier Sánchez is one of the guys who is trying to make a professional career in football. Since he was a teenager, his dream wasn’t about becoming the next Andrés Iniesta or Pep Guardiola. No. His ultimate goal was, and still is, becoming the next Monchi, the most successful General Manager in football. “I am a freelancer now. I work as an external consultant for clubs, management agencies or players”, explains Sánchez from his house in Barakaldo, in the Basque Country. He has a degree in Physical Education and has completed the Coaching Level 1 by the Spanish Federation. This young boy (25) combines his external consultant activities with a part-time job which allows him to pay the bills until he can make a living 100% out of football.
How to become a General Manager
Asier Sanchez’s journey started quite a while ago. He was a kid with a dream, but soon, he became a kid with an strategy. “I detected that my niche was in the Segunda B (Spanish Third category), so I started studying the league”. He was 15 at the moment and the internet wasn’t as fast and as functional as it is nowadays, when almost everybody can live stream a game with limited resources, pretty decent quality and tremendous reach. “In 2006, you were as good as your professional network. I was able to get in touch with other freelancers doing the same and we used to exchange the tapes we personally shot. It was the only way of having good information about the player’s skills then”.
Sánchez has passion, he has a method and his work speaks for itself, but the the biggest barrier for him is that he lacks of a professional player background. “Getting into football is more complicated for an outsider. At the end of the day it’s easier for a former player even though he’d lacked of experience in the front office work”.
Learning from the best
Football never stops and every day is a good opportunity to learn something new. It’s common that top managers without a job take advantage of the situation and visit other top colleagues to learn from them. In Sánchez’s field, this process is compulsory. “There isn’t any specific lecture program costumed designed for General Managers and the only way of learning the know how is visiting the clubs and see how they run their front office. They’ve been very kind to me in Bilbao, Celta, Sporting Gijón or Real Sociedad. You receive lots of useful information that helps you develop as a GM”.
Segunda B, the League of football part-timers
The global economic crisis has transformed the Segunda B. “70% of the players can’t make a living out of football. They have another job or they’re still studying”. Ten years ago, the portrait of the league was quite different. In many groups, the players could easily make 3.000 euros per month, an amount only a few high profile clubs can pay nowadays. “A regular club which has been in the Segunda B for several years is paying around 1.000 euros per month”, explains Sánchez.
Two factors have multiplied the number of Spanish players and coaches working abroad. The low salaries in the middle categories and the National Team success, winning back to back Euros and especially the 2010 World Cup. “It was a game changer. The Spanish football brand is trendy worldwide now” (Don’t miss the story of Pablo Gallardo, a player who moved from the Segunda B to the Indian Super League). “I would consider working overseas if I had a good professional opportunity”.