Derby sports entrepreneur set to take business global

Darren Robinson

Derby sports entrepreneur and professional football specialist Darren Robinson is set to take his business global with the launch of an online football scouting service that he claims will help clubs and agents access information on a worldwide talent pool.

Robinson of iScout says the service will be delivered through a digital online service to make it easier for clubs and agents to access information about players and their on-field performances. It currently benchmarks clubs across Europe with a growing database of 2,500 players and plans to expand this globally in the next 12 months.

Robinson has worked with coaching and management teams in the Championship and football clubs in China. He also has four years experience in Rugby League as a sports psychologist previously working with the RFL national teams and Leeds Rhinos.

Robinson said: “Our new service is designed to help smaller clubs compete with global operations that the larger Premiership clubs have become in sourcing talent and player suited to their style of play and existing budget structure. Coaching and Recruitment teams can benefit from access rich data on the worldwide talent pool.

“Alongside the data we work to understand the human element. Transfers don’t always succeed, and it’s important to add insight into the data. Each team has its own style of play and weaknesses, and not one size fits all. Our success to date is built on delivering a bespoke service specific to the club’s needs and budget structure.”

iScout uses a global network of experienced professionals to identify up and coming players and gather data. The service will be available to clubs and football agents as both attempts to find and move players in the transfer window that allows free movement of labour within the existing legislation.

iScout clients will benefit from a news service and profiles of players supported by performance data and the ability to compare players. The analysis will be a mix of qualitative and quantitive data from experienced analysts. They are kept up to date and receive more accurate and agile information ahead of other industry providers and free websites.

The company is supported by accountancy and advisory firm Hentons whch has worked with Mr Robinson to develop the business strategy and provide corporate support.

Simon Gray, a partner at Hentons, said: “Darren is a true entrepreneur who has built a digital service that is set to shake up the established players in this fast-growing and global sector. As he expands, it will be key to ensure that he continues to benefit from the government support available to innovative business, with schemes like R&D tax credits.”

The Derby-based business was recently accepted in the Nottingham Trent University Accelerator Programme and is receiving specialist support as it attempts to upscale with its commercial development.

Robinson said: “We aim to be a concierge service for our clients. In addition to the data analysis of transfer targets, we also provide quality assurance on deals, which is increasingly important given the sums involved.”