Marcondes’ journey is just one small tale in the larger story of Brentford’s incredible rise, but it says a lot about this club and the way it is run. They learn from their mistakes and, most importantly, they get better every year. Even after selling for £ 50million worth of talent to Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma last summer, Brentford went on to earn six more points in the following league campaign.
It is the Brentford World Way under the ownership of Matthew Benham. Their data-driven approach is often referred to as “Moneyball,” but it’s a label Brentford doesn’t like. To focus on their amazing use of analytics is to miss the bigger point of people. Statistics help them find value in the market, yes. But it is the development of individuals, and the understanding of the human side of football, which then leads to rapid improvement of these players.
Watkins, Benrahma, Neal Maupay, Chris Mepham, Ezri Konsa, James Tarkowski, Andre Gray and the rest: the list of lucrative sales goes on. No club in England can claim to have mastered the transfer market and the subsequent development of their signings quite like Brentford. Each year they sell their best players, and yet they continue to improve as a team.
Now that they are a Premier League club, will the strategy change? The answer is no. The philosophy remains the same, but it is now moving up a level. A few years ago, Brentford was selling its players to the best teams in the championship. Then as they invested in the product and got better, they started selling to small and mid-sized Premier League teams.
Going forward, the plan will be to produce players of interest to the best teams in the Premier League and Europe. If they are selling in a different market, then they can start shopping in a different market. The cycle continues indefinitely, player by player, season by season. And the hope is that at the end of the day, there comes a time when Brentford just doesn’t need to sell anymore.
“We don’t use a lot of money, but we are very good at spotting and seeing the potential of the players,” said midfielder Mathias Jensen. “It’s a very healthy and well run club. I’m not worried about the Premier League and I’m not worried. Of course, it’s a different level, the biggest league in the world, but this club is capable of taking a new step forward.