City Football Group takes the safety and well-being of players very seriously. This page offers extensive guidance around safeguarding yourself and/or your child in relation to scouting and recruitment processes in football.
‘Check out a scout’
If you are concerned and feel you need to check out the validity of a scout or any company claiming to be working in partnership with us, send us an email and wait for a response BEFORE agreeing to anything, especially where any payment to an individual for a trial, or meeting in person, is concerned. Please visit our Contact & Concerns page for contact details; and read on for more detailed information.
CFG have scouts deployed across the globe. It is their role to identify players with potential to play at the highest levels in football. The below information outlines the policies and procedures that all our scouts should adhere to.
Do not trust any organisation that asks you for any payment in return for a trial with a CFG club.
[please note that some of our club's do charge a fee for academy and other training programmes - if at any stage you are worried please contact the club directly]
Should you have any concerns relating to an approach that has been made through any medium - such as social media, online gaming, a website, poster or activity - you can email [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.
Please note: this email address is to be used in relation to safeguarding matters only, not to make a request for a trial - such approaches will not be responded to.
Appropriate Checks, Training and Identification
Football scouts are required to meet strict rules set by the national football federations. Our scouts at CFG clubs are carefully supervised and supported by our managers.
Where it is possible to do so, they will have had their backgrounds checked out using the criminal record checking processes available in that country where they are based. Our scouts will 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 safeguarding practice.
All our scouts are either permanent staff or are re-appointed each season as casual or volunteer workers. Some can be identified by the club kit that they wear but not all our scouts wear a uniform. All should carry an identity card which are usually renewed each season.
Players spotted and watched by our scouts will always be approached in accordance with football authority rules (e.g. league or football federation) and we would never ask you for any form of payment for a formal trial.
CFG is aware that there are individuals and companies who imitate or operate in a way that suggests they are working for, or linked to, CFG or one of our clubs, when, in fact, they are not. We use a general term of ‘Bogus Scouts’ to refer to these. There are several ways to identify bogus scouts. Often, they do things that a CFG scout would never do:
- ask you to pay them in return for promises of trials or extra training or to cover insurance or medical fees or transport;
- 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; and
- approach you through social networking (facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat, whatsapp etc) or online gaming (eg FIFA).
Bogus trials and private football operators making false claims
Both CFG and club 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 our scouts in attendance and share examples of players who have supposedly been signed to a club after attending one of these days. These:
- may look convincing and have high-quality publicity and online presence;
- may have one of our 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 upfront; and / or
- will often not be there when you turn up for your expected event or get cancelled at the last minute.
Be careful with anyone operating in this way. It may not be all it claims to be.
Be Safe / Stay Safe
There are lots of ways to be careful and stay safe:
- do not make any payment to anyone for any reason – a genuine approach or invite will not involve any financial exchange at any point during a trial;
- do not assume someone is an official scout or representing one of our clubs 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;
- do not stay overnight (and especially in their own house) in the care of a scout; you should established that and travel or residential provision is safe and regulated by football authorities or statutory bodies;
- always take a parent with you / go with your child (however old they are); and
- use our ‘Check Out a Scout’ service to be absolutely sure.
You can email [email protected] to query an approach or suspect website or operation and help you stay safe.