Lead Data Scientist

  • Employer Sunderland AFC
  • Town / City Sunderland
  • Job Type Full-time
  • Salary Competitive
  • Closing Date 26/02/2021
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Sunderland AFC is recruiting for Lead Data Scientist to work within the club to inform decision making and underpin processes to create a performance culture based on evidence.

Reporting to the Head of Analysis and Data to create a football and business operations technology and data roadmap this position will develop and standardise the club’s products, services and processes, and implement the performance analysis and data strategy.

The successful applicant will have strong communication and presentation skills with creative problem solving to lead in the development, maintenance and improvement of operational processes aligned to the roadmap that builds in structured decision making and governance.

Responsibilities for the role include:

  • Undertake ad-hoc research as required by Head of Analysis and Data.
  • Ensure familiarity with all technology and data developments relevant to football operations, including those that originate in other sports and industries.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Data and Analysis to identify, procure and manage all technology supporting football operations.
  • Create data architecture to support the football and business operations.
  • Line Manage junior data scientists and interns as required.
  • Support the design, development and implementation of all data / technological services for football operations.
  • Collaborate with the Performance Analysts to optimise the pre- and post-match analytical service.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Analysis and Data and Head of Player Recruitment in defining player modelling from player profiles set by the Sporting Director.
  • Support the Head of Player Recruitment in the creation of a player recruitment platform.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Coaching in the creation and development of an automated match report in line with the Club’s playing philosophy.
  • Provide updates as per the meeting schedule identifying trends and insights from the data collection
  • Support the design, development and implementation of all data / technological services for business operations.
  • Work with the business analyst to improve the quality of sales and marketing information and reporting.

The successful candidate will hold a degree in a numerate discipline, have experience of coding and software development (e.g., Python, R, VB), mathematical and statistical packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, Matlab) and data visualisation tools (e.g., Power Bl or Tableau). Familiarity of using football data sources (eg, Wyscout, Opta, InStat, Statsbomb), database design and managing teams is essential.

Desirable skills and experience include the ability to engage with and influence stakeholders, project management methods, previous experience in data led industries and/or football or other sports sectors.

A full job description and person specification is available on request by emailing recruitment@safc.com.

The position is full time (40 hours per week), with working hours being flexible around business demands and include evening and weekend work, home matches and special events as required. You will be expected to undertake any specific training or Continued Professional Development to maintain your up-to-date knowledge and qualifications, and/or as organised by the club.

If you feel you have the relevant skills and wish to be considered for this position please forward your current CV and covering letter stating current salary to recruitment@safc.com, detailing any relevant experience and qualifications.

Alternatively, your application may be posted to SAFC Recruitment, HR Department, Sunderland AFC, Stadium of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU.  Applications should be submitted before close of business on 26th February 2021.


Sunderland AFC is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a policy of treating all employees and job applicants equally. Our aim is that all colleagues should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.


Sunderland AFC is fully committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups within the organisation. Sunderland AFC owes a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups involved in activities as organised by the football club. Sunderland AFC makes provisions for children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups through adherence to the Safeguarding Policies and Procedures adopted by the Club.


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