Data, Football and Pep Guardiola

What happens when football managers become Chief Data Officer


While conducting research for our secret platform, we stumbled across an amazing article by Mr. Colin Gibson, who is an Architecture & Data Management Consultant and EDM Council Regional Advocate, about the Relationship between Football Managers and Chief Data Officers over here.

(Note: This was the article that got me to join LinkedIn again after I shuttered all  social media accounts as protest against Woksim. It is important to be anonymous and to stay anonymous in this #CancelCulture world)

In his article, Mr. Gibson outlines the similarities as follows:

Both have an average tenure of about 3 years

Both need to undertake a capability assessment of their team on Day One on the job

Both should have a set of resources to read from for on the job training.

While Mr. Gibson could not find a  comprehensive “Handbook for Football Managers”, those in football management have their own favorite self help books. If you are West Ham’s David Moyes, you can get practical tips on managing Manchester United by reading ‘Good to Great”, especially after losing to Olympiakos in a Champions League qualifier. If you are a Chief Data Officer, you have probably a better resource in EDM Council’s Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM) .

Both require support from the Board.

However, here is where things get interesting and I offer my perspective.

Football Managers know how to use the media to put pressure on the board to get new players and blame the team when they fail, a-hem Special One. On the other hand, the Board communicates their displeasure with the dreaded “vote of confidence.”

It will be really cool if a Chief Data Officer could use the same art of Machiavellian politics to get their latest new hardware toy, the best talent and bigger budgets.

Like if you are a Swiss bank who has already spent billions in your risk data aggregation system using Microsoft technologies , as the Chief Data Officer, you should still be able to go to the board and say with a straight face: I need £200 million for consultancy, £50 million for cloud, £100 million for bonuses , £80 million for software licenses, £ 5 million for comfy furniture,  and to be absolutely insulated from Corporate espionage. 

Communication, Communication, Communication

Football managers are required to do the obligatory post-match interview, with every noun, syllable and non-verbal cue analyzed and cross-analyzed by the Woke Press (a certain French footballer remarked 25 years ago that the situation bore a canny similarity to seagulls chasing fishing trawlers, with his observation itself spawning a cottage industry.).  

However, in his article, Mr. Gibson mentioned “The Chief Data Officer is unlikely to be faced with crowds of people clamouring for comment and insight.

Not true sir, and we will now come to our collection of what happens when Football Managers become Chief Data Officers in responding to a situation. 

Arsene Wenger

  • Previous Career: Manager of Arsenal
  • Current Career: Chief Data Officer of a Bank
  • Situation: The bank just got hit with losses involving billions of dollars because they were unable to accurately calculate their risk exposures .


“I didn’t see the exposure !” ~ Arsene Wenger


Jose Mourinho

Previous Career: Trademarking specialist owning the trademark to “Special One”, “Happy One” . Moon lighted as a bus driver while assuming managerial roles in Chelsea, Inter Milan and Manchester United. Inventor of Negative Football (TM)

  • Current Career: Chief Data Officer of a Healthcare Company
  • Situation: Ransomware attack and Attackers demand $10 million in BTC.

“Everyone is against me. The doctors. The nurses. The patients.” ~ Mourinho


Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Previous Career:

Manager of Bruno Per-nandes.

Current Career: Chief Data Officer of Vampire Squid Bank

Situation: The Vampire Squid bank managed to offload billions of dollars of client assets to put their own interest ahead of their client.

They then took the opposite position so as to depress prices and to inflict more harm on their client. Other bankers who did not adopt a similar cut-throat situation sustained billions of dollars of losses as they tried to save their client. All of this was possible because Ole had been lucky enough to inherit a world class risk aggregation system and worked in a bank with questionable ethics.

The press asked Solskjær what he thought about it all from the ethics angle, and whether he felt disappointed in his employers actions.

He mentioned:

“This is fantastic.”

Sean Dyche

Previous Career: Manager of Burnley, Dinosaur

Current Career: CIO of a British supermarket chain


Situation: While the organizations led by other football manager’s turned CIOs and Chief Data Officers , experienced large outages and cyber attacks, Sean ran a tight ship and the IT Department of his organization successfully thwarted many inflitatrion attempts. The Telegraph caught up with Mr. Dyche to get his thoughts.

Dyche said: ‘There is a thirst for foreign CIOs who are always tactical geniuses.  They’re a bit more snazzy — let’s see what this Belgian CIO or this Argentine Chief Data Officer can do. Conte came in at Tesco and he got commended for bringing a hard, fast, new leadership , which involved doing cyber-drills, testing business continuity plans and configuration management .

‘Come to my department and see Sean Dyche doing that and you’d say, “Dinosaur, a young English dinosaur manager. Still asking for proper change management , secure coding review and sign-off in an agile world.  Hasn’t got a clue ”.


Pep Guardiola

Previous Career: Manager of a small club in Manchester, previously located behind Aldi in Rusholme, the Curry District of Manchester. Relegated in 1998 but somehow some bright spark managed to convince the richest family in the planet to pump in £1.3 billion. Imagine how many doner kebabs you could get?


Current Career: Chief Data Officer and Chief Information Technology Officer of a small bank. Backed by the billions from ADIA, of course.

Situation:  The bank just experienced a several billion dollar loss because it did not capture enough information about its Commodity Trade Finance. It ended up financing oil inventories that did not exist. Reporters caught up with Pep and asked him about whether working in the financial sector was more stressful than working as a football manager and whether he had done enough in his role.

This is what Pep said.

” We have a comprehensive process to manage all our risk exposures. More than you can believe. .. More than you can believe. “

When the reporters asked how was it possible for the bank to still suffer losses, Pep snapped.

” You know how many Trade Finance frauds I experienced in my career? Twice.. “



Well let that sink in. For comedy relief, watch Connor Moore’s best impressions over here

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