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Ian Broomfield - A Tribute!

I've been a Spurs fan since the mid-60's. The quietly reported departure of Ian Broomfield from Spurs has prompted me to write a tribute to his performance as our Chief Scout.

When I reflect on the player recruitment record of Damian Comolli, I think of his tendency to recruit talented misfits and I tend to judge his real contribution to Spurs in terms of his 3 strategic signings - Berbatov, Bale and Modric. As DOF, he had the power to recruit the players that he thought were the best prospects for Spurs, although Martin Jol frequently stated his signings didn't improve the team.

Initially, HR's appointment of Broomfield in 2009 meant very little to me, but the passage of the seasons and the strategic type of players that we targeted and recruited during his tenure serves to underline his enormous contribution to the evolution of Spurs into a Top-4 side. Broomfield's first contribution buying future prospects were Naughton and the unknown Walker of Sheffield Utd, who were both immediately loaned out for development. Later in the same 'window' of Summer'09, 20y/o Sandro was targeted and prior to his debut in 2010 HR revealed that Broomfield had driven the decision to buy him.

A number of unsuccessful deals arose in 2010 & 2011 - the most disappointing were Oswaldo who went to Roma, Vucinic who went to Juve, & Mata who went to Chelsea, with Rossi and Llorente the 'wishful-thinking' targets with 30m valuations. I remember 2 other big disappointments -one of HR passing up on DL's desire to buy Suarez in Jan'11 and the other very clever attempt by DL to do an 'under-the-radar' deadline deal to sign Edin Hazard at the end of last Jan's window.

The decision to re-acquire Kaboul in Jan'10 looked a very doubtful one, but it has since proven an inspired one. More recently, Broomfield was again at the forefront proposing decisions to acquire Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Dembele and Lloris, together with Damiao, whose signature continues to elude us, Oscar and Cazorla who we missed out on, Cabaye who turned us down and the likes of Isco who remains on our target list. The calibre of the signings, near signings and general standard of player targeting tells me of a Chief Scout with an exceptional eye for suitable talent and player selection judgement, with an ability to persuade both his Chairman and Manager of his signing proposals.

Bottom line, in his 3 year stint as Chief Scout, Broomfield is the man mainly responsible for the recruitment of a group of very high quality players that are, in many people's judgement, together with Bale, critical to Spurs future success: Sandro, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Walker, Dembele - and Lloris, if he can handle the high crosses that are a feature of the PL.

Unfortunately, Broomfield's departure is due to a fallout with AVB; the media reported that he recently left Spurs by 'mutual consent'; the Sunday Express (16/9/12) reported that AVB '... frustrated at not getting his own way (on transfers during the 'window')... acted (to remove Broomfield after he had apparently) ...disagreed with AVB over some targets on the Portugese's transfer wish list'.

Performance-wise, there are no apparent reasons for dismissing Broomfield - with his eye for talent and his recruitment successes, he should have been promoted! Politically, its clearly a very different matter. While it seems to be the norm to take for granted and understate/report the contributions of Chief Scouts to their clubs successes, the case of Ian Broomfield merits a far greater recognition of his contribution to the club and a far far better reward than his enforced departure from Spurs! And what are we to make of Spurs removing such an outstanding Chief Scout?

Written by: RathgarSpur

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The journalist

Writer: RathgarSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 12 2012

Time: 11:11AM

Your Comments

I certainly have nothing against Broomfield, but I also feel that any chief scout, has to have the ear and respect of the manager. Also was Broomfield considered as being Harry's man by the club. In addition, I would also ask what players did he unearth that were unknown to the major football world? All of those mentioned were already at established clubs and playing international football at some level. That is not a put down of Broomfield, but I also wonder how much more he does with senior recruitment beyong offering his opinion re the ability of a player to fit into the side and requirement of the manager. I assume that anything regarding the background or mindset of a player isnt done by him (or is it?)
Broomfield knows the game inside and out and has a high quality network. He was also not above the odd tapping up for a long term targe, as Lloris was.....God luck to him for the future, he has been by far the best Cheif scout we've had in many a long year/decade(s)!
have to say when I saw the headline, I thought he had died...
Why do people still go on about Suarez? We dodged a bullet there. He is quality BUT you cannot rely on him for goals and he was overpriced - due to his misleading Ajax goal stats. Add to that the endless controversy and the immaturity that he showed when he refused to shake Evra's hand (who was himself is showing maturity in offering his hand), we are much better off without him. Also, the author is ignoring the fact that we were probably priced out of it wage-wise. Move on.
Ox - me too. Perhaps it should have been called: "In praise of..." instead...
Nice article but perhaps he should be judged on his apparent inability to find a top flight striker that we could afford and bring him on board...Ba, P. Cisse and many others were completely overlooked. That's where we really needed to reinforce. Average job iIMHO.
It is dangerous to get rid of people on the whim of a manager, choose whoever that manager may be. Managers at top level with the exception of SAF and Wenger, are transient, they come and go depending on results, but the fabric of the club should remain fairly constant. With the departure of Broomfield following on behind Carr going, we are left deficient on the scouting front. We need to unearth players to continually supply our needs, to sustain a top quality squad. As much as we wish it were otherwise, we can't/won't compete in the auctions that involve the top players, and we can't/don't pay the wages they demand, and we can't currently offer CL football. For all of these reasons we need to recruit and keep a top quality scouting network, to identify players before they become common knowledge amongst the richest clubs, who then steam in and sign them.
Time will tell if we have made a mistake, on balance you would take whoever was finding players for Porto under AVB.
jvd - I am not sure that the striker scenario is Broomfield's fault. Once you had Defoe, Pav, Crouch, Keane (who were all deals to either sign player back or rip-off debt-ridden Pompey), we could not sign another striker until one leaves. By the time they starting leaving, Levy knew that Harry was going at end of season, so he gave Harry no cash to spend. So all we could get was Ade on loan, and Saha until the end of season. Behind the scenes Broomfield may have had a long shopping list.
spurdon - Porto are currently the biggest team in their country. We are not that. Therefore having the same scout is going to get the same result. Porto could get away with an average scout. We cannot.
...NOT going to get the same result...
We have a better scout in the name of Graham Carr in my opinion, but he is sacrificed.
Broomfield leaving is not a huge deal. Comolli left, as did Carr, both signed some quality players. But we continued after they left, and will continue to sign good players now. All this change makes me think that there will be a DOF announcement before Christmas!
Tactically Challenge
I am not so sure whether getting the likes of Lloris and Dembele and Vertonghen due to him or our current manager,
Thank you for your work Bloomfield. You had a good eye for talent but its the coaches job to get the best out of them. Martin for some, Harry massively and now Andre seem to have a knack for this depending on the player, but you gave them the tools. Good luck for the future, you're welcome back at the lane anytime. COYS.
TonyRich - We got cash to spend, Harry has insists many times, he had cash to spend, but only want in at his preferred targets like Rooney, Tevez.
Overall he did a good job, but not a fantastic great job. Wish him all the best in the future, I would have like Graham Carr back, pity he sign a 8 year contract lol
People like Ian list players of a specific caliber, cost, contract, sell on fee and potential etc. He was good and gave us some gems but with the new coach, he might prefer someone else to do this and a different style. Nothing against Ian, but if he left by mutual consent then its probably for the best. I don't think this should be a slur on AVB just that times are moving on, as we see with harry going, the change around in staff facilities etc. We are lucky to have some players now because of Martin and especially Harry but AVB i pip for even better success. COYS.
What about a list of players that were signed/targeted by him that don't/didn't cut the mustard? It's alright looking at the positives but there are always negatives that go alongside them. Can someone provide me a list of all names please and then we can evaluate the topic more accurately.
A tribute to what?? Scouts that deserve a tribute are the ones who unearth the talents in the 1st place like the bloke who found the Kyles for Sheff United, the endless players Leeds manage to find, the endless wingers Southampton unearth. The players mentioned in the article are obvious players to find as scouts from every other club would have been looking at them also. As a big club we should be looking to unearth more than Caulker/King/Campbell/Smith/Townsend in the last 20yrs...the players we have regularly graduated are standard 1st division players like O Hara/Livermore/Kane/Nethercott etc COYMFS!!
Naughton, walker, bale all had storming seasons in the championship and the reason we payed 20 million, not exactly top scouting watching the division below in our own domestic league. Modric had a sensational euro's just before we bought him for 17 million euros. Dembele has been class for Fulham in our league and we paid 15 million for him. Vertoghen has been Ajax player of the year for 2 consecutive seasons and cost 12.5 million. Lloris is the French national captain! Please tell me how any of that is good scouting? We payed a lot of money for players with potential who were all in the shop window! The only player he signed under the radar and which was good scouting was sandro! Where is his fabregas? Wilsher? Chicarito? Cisse? Ba? Lennon? Etc. Players no one had heared off who are world class for cheap? The article is nothing more than a desperate attempt to have a dig at avb for wanting his own head scout
There is 2 schools of thought on scouting... 1..find the young players of raw talent, to be nutured and pollished into the top quality player. Then 2nd. look at the player who is already half way to being a top quality player, or the finished article. Then ascertain if this player will fit in with our club management / players, and can improve himself, and our first team.. So it is not just find a player we can bring on and sell years later / be worth 20m...This is what the top scouts have to do, and have their contacts at grass roots in every major football country. AVB is getting his contacts of scouting into place... COYS
Block D Spurs
Good article. For me, missing out on Suarez was never a disappointment, but i've stated that many times before, a waste of space of a human-being. Doesn't score goals, but is more than capable of biting, spitting, diving and being a general arse. Him and Bale in the same team would have been nice, they could use the new pool at our training ground to see who can out-dive each other.
Apologies TonyRich, after now reading through the posts I see I've written pretty much the same thing as yourself, I could have saved myself a job if I'd taken the time-out to read first.
The papers and the fans need to remember that AVB isn't in charge of the club. Just as was inaccurately reported a couple of weeks ago that AVB had a bust-up and wanted Sherwood out of the club, it's all in the hands of Levy about who we employ or let go. If Broomfield has been let go then clearly Levy feels that either he hadn't done enough, or that there are better people out there suited to the job. It's got sod-all to do with AVB who we employ, but then that won't sell too many papers to muppets and sheeple.
Some great signings you failed to mention Saha,Nelson. I suspect Sandro,Lloris,Dembele, Demsey etc may or may not be down to Broomfield. Since 2009 until this latest transfer window you list all the misses. Strange that only after Harry and in the last transfer were we able to sign good young footballers.
Absolutely Crissyboy. Just ignore the bulls***. I'm sure AVB, Levy & Co are. Anyway, as has been said, this Broomfield didn't pull up any trees. We need a quality DoF, chosen carefully by both Levy and AVB. Start signing some quality youngsters from around the world BEFORE they are famous. That's the way to compete. I'm sure an announcement will be made once we have found the right man.
I don't think he delivered that much for us. A lot of his signings have also been poor. Agree that Carr seemed to find better bargains than Broomfield did. I also thought him and Harry did not agree on transfer targets. Was gone a bit too quick for AVB to have much input into him going.
Spurticus: Your "...desperate attempt...dig at AVB" comment raises an interesting point; firstly, I'm not necessarily swiping at AVB, who we all have great hopes for as Spurs Manager following our recent PL/UEFA performances. I'm hoping he has the same grasp of transfer policy as he seems to have for coaching/managing the 1st team. However, his conduct of transfer policy during his limited time at Chelsea was pretty unremarkable, Mata excepted. In particular, (as with Spurs) neither of his favoured primary recruitment targets, Willian & Moutinho, were acquired - I find this particularly surprising at a club where player talents are much more liberally valued and there's no shortage of finance for recruits eg media reports say Spurs valued Oscar at c.11m/14m Euros while Chelsea actually paid c.25/30m Euros for him. In addition, the initially reported derisorily low bids by Spurs for Willian & Moutinho suggest to me a reluctance by DL, apart from valuation issues, to buy these players. I also find the reported changed position on Moutinho in the final 24/36hrs of the 'window' unconvincing for the most part - had Moutinho arrived in London for a medical the media reports would have been more credible. Put yourself in DL's position during August: a very promising, but as yet unproven in the PL, 34 y/o Manager/Coach, with a recruitment track record hardly worth talking about, wants me/you to spend c.50n/60m Euros on 2 players that his previous employers declined to invest in; and on the other side of the table is a Chief Scout who has a first class recruitment record and has the confidence of DL, saying most probably, that while Willian & Moutinho are very talented players they carry big risks playing in the PL and are consequently unsuitable targets or are severely doubtful at 25m a throw, and that there are other more reasonably priced and possibly more exceptionally talented & lower risk targets with the required PL attributes available. Its a no brainer. As I say, I'm hoping AVB has a good grasp of recruitment & an eye for talent suited for the PL - if not I hope Spurs recruit a DOF type who has that eye.
Profound apologies Guys; I've just realised that my previous response to Spurticus has in fact posted directly to the Thread Comment Board - my earlier responses haven't posted - I've made a number of responses since c.2pm and I have a query with the site technical people. If the matter is not resolved by 7pm I'lli reproduce my responses.
Crissybwoy, apparently the deal with Suarez also involved bringing back Klinsmann to help both Suarez and Bale with their errr problems with staying on their feet. Unfortunately we couldn't get the German to come back
Posted at 2.14pm Hi! just got in... Ox: Thanks for publishing my piece. I agree with your 'ear & respect' point - genuinely held disagreements are acceptable but require that interpersonal relationships are properly managed to ensure that its neither a personal issue nor perceived as such - I assume this was a problem area; apart from organising and managing a scouting network, I think a DOF/CS puts his head-on-the-block with every major recruitment decision and it sounds like a full time job to me; there's definately something in your 'background & mindset' point but we seem to be doing ok with Broomfields' recruits - if media reports are to be believed its likely we dodged such a 'bullet' missing out on M'Vila & Willian; at the very least, I assume that all major recruitment decisions are "background" checked.
Posted at 2.38pm: Frank: I agree; however I would say that you could have the best scouting network in the world but you'd still get the wrong recruitment decisions if the DOF/CS are not proposing the right solutions. Outstanding judgment, conviction and bringing the Chairman, Manager/Coach & Recruitment Team on board are essential ingredients of that process. Given whats happened at Liverpool with Comolli, I wouldn't allow a DOF the power to buy players without agreement of the Recruitment Committee - I would expect a DOF/CS to be constructively challenged at committee level on every major recruitment solution proposed.
Posted at 2.40pm: TonyR: Lets agree to disagree on Suarez!
Berbatov, Carrick, Modric, Bale, Lennon, Hudd, BAE, Kaboul, bought for about 45 million, sold/worth for about 150 million. Get a DOF in, no brainer.
Posted at 4.01pm: YattYid: I agree with you; I was focusing on acquiring more mature/proven players/talent; unearthing younger aged raw talent should be a vital component of a recuitment policy and we don't seem to have a good success record at it. I would say that even at that level there is a very big, competitive and pricy market for such talents. Interestingly, ManU and even Arsenal seem to have gone backwards in this area
Posted at 4.31pm: Spurticus: I'd have to agree with you but exceptional talent/value purchases like Lennon & Fabergas are 'pot luck'; I would agree that Sandro is our most exceptional talent/value purchase among recent recruits but DL's value policy & probably AVB's motivational skills means that the likes of Vertonghen & Dembele are still going to be exceptional talent/high added value recruits. The key to getting the best outcome in the real world is a set of management talents on the footballing side(Chairman, Manager/Coach, DOF/CS, & Development & Academy Personnel) combining to provide the best solutions for the club. I would submit that Broomfield provided an outstanding contribution in the area of 1st team recruitment. But there there does seem to be a managerial gap in the unearthing of raw talent at the club.
Crissybwoy: I'll disagree with you on Suarez as I did with TonyR, but your implied suggestion that we'd have a world class diving team with Suarez & Bale on board is very amusing.
Bale makes it 2-1 for Wales against Scotland. Good goal.
Bale single-handedly beats Scotland, that's another 10 million added. COYS.
According to the commentator unplayable tonight, no defender can live with him, that's another 10 million. COYS.
Bales beat Scotland 2-1
Walker has been poor all season, the reason he is still playing for Spurs is because of injuries to Naughton and Ekotto
Gylfi scored too. France lost, VDV scored....oh and Walker imo was poo!
And add corluka to tonight's scorers.
On his day Gareth Bale is up there with the very best in world football. Sheer quality - the likes i dont think ive EVER seen at WHL in my lifetime. Only consistency lets him down. He just raped Scotland
Compared to Aaron Ramsey who has gone backwards about 9 miles as a footballer, he was awful tonight.
Bale is fantastic, unplayable at his best. We'll struggle to hang onto him next summer IMO. Hopefully he'll hekp us to achieve CL football.
HuddersfieldYiddo, absolutely spot on, Ramsey was total crap, he lookd like a Blue Square Prem player playing with full timers, I thought Coleman would have hooked him. If you can't look good against the jocks there aint much hope for you.
Camper: You raise a number of interesting points; Broomfield was most likely involved in these Saha & Nelson decisions by HR which were presumably approved by DL; from recollection, in last Jan's window we were pursuing a new centreback and Damiao right up to the end of the window; Chelsea signed Gary Cahill, a Spurs target and HR wanted Samba; reading between the lines, DL & Broomfield didn't want Samba(thank God) and we settled on Nelson as a temporary solution(on a 6 mth contract) with presumably Vertonghen in mind for the summer. On Saha, our primary target was Damiao and we couldn't agree a deal - like Nelson, we agreed a temporary 6mth deal for Saha. I've no difficulties with those decisions which were temporary solutions for potential targets Vertonghen & Damiao. It will be interestingly to see whether we have moved on from Damiao in Jan. I suspect that only Dempsey is an AVB signing - I'd say Broomfield didn't oppose that decision because he was acceptable in the circumstances given they couldn't get hold of our primary target Damiao or indeed Loic Remy, who I'd have thought was well ahead of Dempsey as a target. Your observation that it was only after HR left that we were able to sign good young footballers is well made; I assume that where there was disagreement on targets between DL/Broomfield on the one hand and HR on the other & no such deals were progressed from Jan'12 forward; everything changed when we missed out on that 3rd spot in May; DL decided on change & Modric also decided on change, leaving gaps in the side that have been admirably filled. More urgently, we're still missing an advanced creative midfielder and squad replacements for Dembele, Bale & the said creative midfielder. PS: HR publicly stated that Broomfield drove the decision to sign Sandro.
So who does the scouting for us now? I mentioned before Marco Reus and Dante both at the time played for Borussia Monchengladbach Reus was a german under 21 player, he has since made his full international debut for Germany, now Reus plays for Dortmund and Dante at Bayern. Only maybe this time we will follow up another Gladbach player Patrick Herrmann aged 21, who is a right sided attacking midfield/winger, before someone else grabs him.
spu 4 life
I want a tribute to the bloke who prevented us buying a foul mouth diving cheating bigot, namely Luis Suarez. Oh yeah that would be Harry. Thanks Harry spot on for once.
sorry some of you lot Bloomfield had nothing zlich to do with SANDRO he was on our radar yr before same as the the 2 Kyles fact We all know it was beloved REDCRAPP who got Bloomfield in and 90 % of the time disappeared like arry houdini as well and as for the last people coming in definitely not , for last so many mths was in South America no one could find him!!!!!!!!!!
Judging by the picture at the top, I can see why our scouting is sometimes considered dire, the floodlights aren't even on in the ground.

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