Business Case Studies

Manchester City – Using Two Way Radios for Safety and Success

After moving to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003 and huge investment by new owners in 2008, Manchester City have seemed unstoppable.

.  With a coaching and management team headed up Pep Guardiola now in charge and the team finishing the 2017/18 season as champions with a record breaking 100 points, is there more than meets the eye to City’s success?

Manchester City’s manager is backed by an expert team of coaches, medical staff, sports scientists and a wider supporting entourage responsible for analysis and security. With such a wide team of analysts and welfare staff with specific roles, it can be a challenge to stay in touch with one another. One often overlooked factor in keeping everyone informed and working as a strong team off as well as on the field is the use of two way radios during match days and training camps. To retain a cutting edge, Manchester City analyse instant replays in the physio room, relaying information to the touchline team about injuries, treatments and fitness levels. This is instantly passed to the manager to help make substitutions or tactical changes to compensate.

Having this clear communication between specialists is easier said than done. In noisy stadium environments, during away games where there is unfamiliar infrastructure and in areas where thick concrete walls and metal structures can interfere with signals, it can be difficult to contact the correct staff during vital incidents such as player injuries or split second tactical decisions. In crucial games where the element of surprise can sometimes swing a game, ensuring sensitive information transmitted by radio does not get picked up by the opposition can also be a challenge.

By using a Digital Mobile System of Hytera X1P radios, coaches, physiotherapists and sports scientists can communicate with complete clarity about player fitness and performance on the pitch and during academy sessions. This radio functions reliably in harsh conditions such as high winds and rain that the training facility is exposed to. As coaches are physically involved in training sessions, the radios receive a fair number of knocks and drops, as well as exposure to cold and moisture. As the radios are rugged they continue functioning despite the rough treatment. With a thickness of just 23mm and compatibility with wireless headsets, they do not weigh down or interfere with staff who need to be on the move quickly.

The radios have proved popular with staff, who are able to get on with their jobs unhindered by technical issues or shortcomings. Manchester City soft tissue therapist Mark Sertori said: “If there’s an incident either inside or outside, the medical team has got to be contactable. It’s imperative we have a clear communication line for all the medical team.

“I’ve gone all the way around the stadium and training complex and the coverage is fantastic, with no blackspots. We can have 55,000 fans screaming and cheering on match day, so the radio communication has to be reliably clear. It is.”