Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

The football revolution that needs to happen

Alongside the goals, saves and controversial ‘falls’ (bites), the use of goal-line technology and magical vanishing spray are two technological innovations which have got people talking during this World Cup. The likes of cricket, rugby and tennis have been using technological innovations for years, and it is great to see football beginning to follow suit. However, players in Rio are facing a difficulty you would not expect in the modern, mobile age – how to manage contract signings during the transfer window when they are out of the country.

As a keen football fan, I know all too well the pain of seeing my dream signing fall apart at the last minute of deadline day. My experience as a businessman working with disruptive technology, however, makes this pain all too unbearable. Why? Because I hate to see the FA and other football organisations around the world continue to utilise an outdated, unreliable piece of technology to process trades: the fax machine.

 

Get your fax straight

Believe it or not, clubs still have to dust off their fax machine every year in order to send documents to their opposite number before the deadline closes. Far from the most technologically advanced pieces of hardware in the digital age, faxes are slow and prone to breakdown and provide no added value. When clubs are pushing through a last minute contract, this can be a devastatingly costly failure, both in terms of the finances of the club as well as its performance during the football season. There is also no digital audit trail when it comes to faxed documents. The club secretary claims to have not seen a critical document come through? With fax, you have to take their word for it. In such a huge global business as football and even sport more widely, it is ridiculous to think that multi-million contracts are still being handled through a piece of outdated technology like the fax machine.

The rush of transfers as the deadline reaches its peak means clubs struggle to manage the sheer amount of paperwork which is needed to file in order to sign a player. Like any legal or business transaction, transfers can only be approved when the correct forms are signed. Club secretaries are required by regulation to handle offers to existing players whose contracts are about to expire, in addition to players being registered and transferred in and out during the transfer window. This means clubs are required to organise numerous physical documents on player wages, medical forms, transfer agreements between clubs, international clearance and visa issues. Rumour has it staff are told to wear trainers on the final day of the window, as they will be running to and from the fax so often.

 

Window pain

To understand the tensions during the transfer window, you only need to look at Manchester United’s saga with Ander Herrera. After a failed pursuit by (now former) Manchester United manager David Moyes last season, this year’s summer transfer window also saw United’s first bid rejected. Herrera conducted a medical and flew to Manchester to finalise the buy, in an extended series of bargaining that included the footballer paying his own transfer fee. After causing one hell of a stir, the bid was accepted and went through.

But this little piece of drama is nothing compared to the stress at the 11pm closing of the transfer window - the next one being the end of the summer on 1st September. This is a time when boardrooms become furnaces, fuelled by the friction of clubs and players striking deals... and completing paperwork.

 

Property markets ahead of the game

Many years ago, the property industry began a debate that has subsequently caused a shift in legislation and professional behaviour. The shift I’m talking about was in relation to e-signatures, and their ability to streamline the exchange of legally binding documents. The Electronic Communications Act 2000 enabled the legal finalisation of contracts via electronic means, while in 2001 the Law Commission published a paper advising the government that requirements for writing a signature can be legally satisfied by electronic means. This was just the start. Electronic signatures are being used to great effect already, and uptake looks set to grow and grow. With sentiment today so geared to the immediate, and working behaviour no longer as locationally specific, the property industry isn’t being left behind.

Football is.   

      

Kicking the fax out of football

So what can be done? Clubs need to kick the fax out of football.

We have already seen electronic signatures adopted by the NFL Player’s Association in order to avoid fax failure fiascos which have previously occurred. With electronic signatures, players can have their medical documentation signed and processed through an entirely digital platform, meaning agents can view who they need to chase for signatures. Contracts can be processed far quicker and on the move. Players in Brazil for the World Cup would not have to worry about fulfilling their transfer window ambitions – their contracts can be processed remotely, across any device. There is no need for expensive air travel or agents to be flown all over the world. Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature technology is here and readily avaliable, and should be seized by the FA for the economic and environmental benefit it brings.

Other industries and huge businesses are making the most of digital technology. The sports industry should be no different. Player signings are huge in financial as well as sporting terms. Like any business, football associations need to make the most of the technology available to them. I’m looking forward to the day that my club Chelsea handles a signing on the last day of the window through a mobile device and in no time at all. And I think club presidents, managers and fans all over the world are looking forward to it too.

 

Jesper Frederiksen is DocuSign's Vice President of the EMEA region. Share your reactions in the comments below or tweet him at @jesperf 

Blog Category:

Blog Image: 
The football revolution that needs to happen
Blog Banner Image: 

Blog Tags:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By An Bui

Social Media Professional with substantial experience identifying, characterizing and connecting online communities and authors. Strong orientation on actionable recommendations that provide mutually beneficial value for communities and organizations for stakeholders.

Currently, I serve as the social media manager for DocuSign, Inc., the market leader and global standard for electronic signature. DocuSign provides the world’s largest and fastest growing electronic signature platform, empowering businesses to complete transactions online quickly and securely while improving compliance and dramatically reducing costs.

DocuSign is the only cloud computing-based electronic signature platform that entirely replaces slow, expensive paper transactions with a fast, efficient and completely digital solution. Accessible from any Internet-connected device, DocuSign supports virtually any document and form type in simple and complex workflows, and provides broad user authentication options, data collection, secure document/data storage and retrieval, as well as real-time negotiation and collaboration tools.

Latest Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo is an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalized support service from its globally located cloud platfor...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-securit...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.