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Safer Scouting: advice regarding scouts, scouting, player trials and player recruitment

Introduction

City Football Group clubs including Manchester City have a team of scouts and recruitment officials whose role it is to seek out new talent and invite them for trials. The below information outlines the policies and procedures that Manchester City scouts adhere to. 

Do not trust any organisation that asks you for any payment in return for a trial with a City Football Group club. Should you have any concerns relating to an approach that has been made, through any medium such as a website, poster or activity, you can email safeatcity@mancity.com who will be able to assist you. 

Please note: this address is to be used in relation to safeguarding matters only, not to request a trial. 

City Scouts

Many scouts work on a full-time or part-time basis and are usually only linked to one professional Club such as Manchester City. Some are seasonal workers or can be volunteers. Our scouts work across the United Kingdom and in many countries across the world. We also scout for other clubs that are part of the ‘City Football Group’ family of football clubs.

Scouts who work for City Football Group have all been appointed through one of our clubs to identify football talent across the UK and throughout the world and are all highly-skilled and experienced in identifying players with the potential to play for us at the very highest level. 

Appropriate Checks & Training

Manchester City scouts are required to meet strict rules set by the Premier League and are carefully managed and supported by our managers.

They have all had their backgrounds checked, just like teachers and sports coaches, through the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) in the UK. They also have to complete a range of compulsory training courses to ensure that they meet all the relevant football regulations and are up to date with current good practice.

All City Football Group scouts are either permanent staff or are re-appointed each season as casual workers, and some are volunteers. Some can be identified by the Club kit that they wear but not all our scouts wear a uniform. All carry an identity card which is renewed each season.

Players spotted and watched by our scouts will always be approached in accordance with football authority (e.g. Premier League or Football Association) rules and will never be asked for any form of payment.

Bogus Scouts

There are several ways to identify bogus scouts. Often, they:
ask you to pay them in return for promises of trials or extra training or to cover insurance or medical fees or transport (we cover all costs of a trial with any of our Clubs)
ask for money in relation to arranging accommodation or even to move house 
say they can give you extra training in order to get you a trial
have scruffy or old or odd-looking identification 
have a letter supposed to be from someone at our Club usually someone like the first team manager
offer to take you in person to a trial 
approach through social networking (facebook, twitter, snapchat etc) or online gaming (eg FIFA)
use emails that end in @gmail.com, @outlook.com or look like bbsmithmcfc@gmail.com or johnwmancity@outlook.com 

Bogus trials and private football operators making false claims

The Group’s management hear regularly of young players (or their parents) who have signed up to play at trial days that claim to be either taking place at official Club training venues or have City scouts in attendance and share examples of players who have been signed to a club after attending one of these days. 
They: 
may look convincing and have high quality publicity and online presence 
may have a club badge(s) on there, but are being used fraudulently
could use a generic email address eg @gmail.com or @outlook.com etc
usually require you to register online with the company’s website
ask you for money at some point usually up front
will often not be there when you turn up for your expected event

Be Careful

There are lots of ways to be careful and stay safe:
do not make any payment to anyone for any reason – a genuine operation or invite will not involve any financial exchange at any point
do not assume someone is an official scout or representing City Football Group just because they say they are
ask for identification and check it closely
look closely at any uniform but do not assume that they are an official scout simply because they are wearing branded clothing
be very wary of any contact from someone claiming to be a scout or agent that comes via the internet or social media or online gaming or solely by phone 
you can ring or email us and check with someone in charge (see our Club contact list or call one of the numbers at the top of this page)
do not go anywhere with them or arrange to meet someone you do not know, especially if no-one knows where you are or where you are going
always take a parent with you / go with your child (however old they are)

You can email safeatcity@mancity.com to query an approach or suspect website or operation and help you stay safe. Please do not use this email to try and request a trial. Any such approach will not receive any reply of any form.