Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Surely the real failures in football are those that select the managers? 


Time and time again there are rounds of managerial sackings. Usually focused on certain times in the season when relegation becomes possible or likely.  New managers are employed and sometimes as with Neil Warnock at Rotherham last season with surprising success. Rotherham were doomed and adrift yet somehow survived. Warnock chose to then leave at the end of his short term contract with little opportunity to build a platform for any longer term growth. Now 6 months later Rotherham lie adrift at the bottom of the championship with their best hope of success being the Pope and a miracle. 

Leyton Orient as they will always be named in my universe have had six managers since September 2014 under the curious ownership of Francesco Becchetti. Working in their HR department must be an enlightening and busy role. Try and imagine the cost of paying up a minimum of six annual salaries to those sacked encumbents and one arrives at a figure that surely must be around a million pounds if not substantially greater. An average crowd at Orient might be 4000 being generous. Let’s guess the gate revenue for each game as an average of £18. Again a generous assertion. £72000 per game. Needing around 14 home games to simply cover the costs of the managerial sackings. I will emphasise these are all estimates and guesswork and I have less secret intelligence in these matters than even the German police. But the figures are unlikely to be widely wrong. Put concisely the cost of managerial sackings is high even if we discount the lack of any longer term plan being administered for a team or club by the manager. Success never comes overnight hence this cost is likely significantly greater. 

Alan Pardew looks like he gets a payoff after being sacked for failure of around 5 million pounds. Assuming an average of 30£ per ticket Crystal Palace would need to sell 167,000 tickets to fund this large donation to the Pardew household. 

Currently 22 of the 92 league managers have been sacked since the start of the 2016 season. That’s in under five months.  Of these 22 only ten have had a year in charge with many having only 1-4 months. 

So who chooses these managers? Has anyone audited how bad they are at personnel selection? Do the same characters get to select again? This is one area shroudedin mist and mystery and no wonder why. Their choosing is clearly fatally flawed. What might they look for in a manager? What are their own criteria for success at instigation of the contract? How can they possibly get things so ridiculously and chaotically wrong after 52 days for Alberto Cavasin at Orient? Or 87 days for WALTER Zenga at Wolves? One accepts that sometimes faces do not fit but surely some due diligence is needed and done? Many of these managers are on the managerial roundabout and one suspects reasons for failure are similar at different clubs. I do not buy into the argument that a failed manager at premiership level suddenly becomes a good choice for a lower league side. In fact logic and facts dictate I am correct in this assertion. 

Let’s return to Rotherham who sacked Alan Stubbs after 140 days. Stubbs had a decent track record at Hibernian and arguably should have stayed there. Needless to say he is one of the favourite options for other managerial roles including Barnet andScotland. 

Supporters of clubs should demand that the board is more accountable for their selection of managers and when it goes wrong they should be sacked from choosing managers. 

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