Luke Dowling used to work as a scout for Leeds United.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Transfer Deadline Day show, Watford sporting director Luke Dowling has revealed that the biggest difference between the Hornets and former club Leeds United is that there was no scouting structure at Elland Road.
Dowling said: “I think the main difference when I joined Watford two years ago is that there was actually a scouting structure in place. When I worked as a consultant at Leeds, there was no scouting structure there. I think that comes from financial troubles, and it seems to be that whenever a club needs to cut costs, the first thing to go is the scouting structure.”
Dowling worked as a scouting consulate at Elland Road under manager Brian McDermott.
Leeds were in the midst of financial issues at that time, and problems with their ownership which were resolved when Massimo Cellino took charge of the club.
Dowling left his job, along with McDermott, soon after the Italian’s arrival, and linked up with Watford, where he has overseen their rise to the Premier League as Sporting Director.
When he arrived at Watford, Dowling has admitted that he was impressed by the scouting structure in place. Thanks to the work of the Pozzo family, the Hornets could call upon a worldwide system of scouts which have helped them into the Premier League.
This was a far cry from Leeds, who had no scouting structure in place, and had to work with the basics for a number of years due to simply get by.
Cellino has worked on the background set-up at Elland Road since his arrival, but it will be years before Leeds can call upon the same sort of resources at Dowling can at Watford.