Rovers’ head of European scouting has called on the EFL to make changes to the way talent-spotters are able to work.

Glyn Chamberlain was appointed as the club’s head of European scouting just as the pandemic began to take effect, which has impacted each club’s recruitment operation, with first no live football, then a restriction in travel, and now on the numbers of scouts allowed to attend matches.

As things stand, each EFL fixture is only allowed six scouts to be present, made up of one scout from each of the three clubs that the two teams on the pitch are facing next.

As Chamberlain puts it: ‘the focus for clubs is therefore on opposition scouting rather than on player recruitment’.

He estimates that EFL clubs would employ an estimated total of 400 scouts, of which around half aren’t able to watch any matches lives.

Rovers have invested in their recruitment department over the course of the last 18 months, led by head of recruitment Stuart Harvey, head of club talent identification & player analysis, with Chamberlain’s focus on the overseas market in which the club have been keen to branch out into.

This summer has seen goalkeepers Thomas Kaminksi and Antonis Stergiakis brought in, with other targets identified, and while some have slipped through the net, others remain on the radar.

The club use video footage and scouting platforms to either identify, or study, players, but Chamberlain says there is no replacing being able to watch a player live in action.

Tony Mowbray flew out to watch several matches towards the end of the 2018/19 season, as did his assistant Mark Venus, with Rovers keen to make more of a market that other Championship clubs have thrived in.

Chamberlain says the advantages of being at a match live include the ability to study body language and demeanour during the warm-up, or during a match in situations where they have lost the ball, or their team is struggling.

His experience in the game includes time as a player, coach, and scout, with spells at Fulham, Crewe Burnley and Doncaster Rovers before being appointed as chief scout of Cardiff City where he worked between 2017 and 2019, leaving after the departure of Neil Warnock.

Writing for Training Ground Guru, he said: “At Blackburn Rovers, the owners and senior management have been very supportive to the whole club throughout this pandemic.

“The recruitment department has been working well and the analysts have done a great job in filtering players, but the reality is that the live scouting element isn’t as effective as it could be.

“Scouts are needed at this time of year as much as they've ever been, if not more. The transfer window is open until a week on Friday and some clubs still need to sign players, while players at the ends of their contracts need to find clubs.

“Many teams are under financial pressure and player trading will help them to balance what are already incredibly precarious balance sheets. And before this transfer window has even closed, recruitment departments will be working in preparation for the next one in January.”

He added: “I believe the best option now is for scouts to be able to get back into stadiums to watch and assess players in live situations, which is why I’m am asking an urgent review of the current restrictions being imposed by the EFL and clubs.”