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October 26, 2007

Comments

Morten

I would add a point which I think is at least equally important, namely chance. Football results are to a large degree (I believe at least larger than many people think) random. Hence, a mediocre coach with a lucky streak will be 'over-promoted' and an excellent coach with an unlucky streak will be sacked.

Morten

I would add a point which I think is at least equally important, namely chance. Football results are to a large degree (I believe at least larger than many people think) random. Hence, a mediocre coach with a lucky streak will be 'over-promoted' and an excellent coach with an unlucky streak will be sacked.

Paulie

I'm not sure that our Brian is any good for illustrating any text-book cases. He failed at Leeds out of spite.

There is another issue here; Football supporters are not like any other customer. They want a say in the club - and football managers know that bad decisions need not be too disastrous as fans will never allow a largish club to go bust. The business decisions are part of the commodity that people are buying. Would it be opportunistic of me to draw inferences on what it indicates about Direct Democracy here? ;-)

I can't think of another industry where a rational businessman would behave like Nigel Doughty has done at Forest either. He's the worst combination - a VC who won't cut his losses.

A VC is the wrong kind of owner for most clubs anyway - they're too risky for most fans (hire David Platt, give him £millions to spend on one-legged Eyeties).

Other owners are little better - they're often buying into a club to achieve something else (celebrity, influence, etc). Alan Sugar bought into Spurs largely because he wanted to be involved in negotiations with BSkyB (he made the dishes). Abramovic probably wants someone to stick up for him if an arrest warrant is ever delivered by a bloke with snow on his boots.

reason

I live in Germany and still remember with great amusement the history of Otto Rehhagel and Bayern Munich. Otto was reasonably successful at Bayern and was sacked during a relatively short late season slump, basically by Beckenbauer (accusing him oddly of neglecting junior development). Beckenbauer failed to win anything (Bayern may just have been a victim or their own success like Leverkusen were a few years later - having too many irons in fire with too thin a squad). The next year Otto won the second division with relegated Kaiserslautern in runaway fashion. And the year after he won the first division (first time ever by a promoted team) beating Bayern twice in the process.

This hillarious run of events, shows that excessive analysis here is redundant, just a lot of big egos pushing each other around. A certain amount of success is random and as the manager is not in charge he is a ready scapegoat for everybody concerned. There is plenty of evidence if you want to look for it that stability at the top pays off in the long term. (ManU and Arsenal come to mind).

Savonarola

Directors often take leave of their senses once 'in charge' of a football club. Appointing the wrong manager/firing a manager too soon are minor sins compared with the destruction of the whole edifice. Risdale/Leeds Johnson/Man City and so on. Quite often a player or group of players decide a manager must go and somehow this gets through to the directors. I think its called losing the dressing room. Jol seems to have lost Berbatov.

dearieme

Oh balls to football. How's your guitar playing coming on?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6BB6Ne5HFM

DMP

You ask: why do football directors make so many bad hiring and firing decisions? The trend in more rapid job turnover has affected football managers just as it has CEOs and other workers (males at least). Why has it increased is an interesting question. Here's a link to a short paper that documents how tenure of football managers has changed from 1874-2006 - but no explanations are offered as to why.
http://trex.econ.uoguelph.ca/dprescot/dmp/foot/tenure.htm

dearieme

You've just had a generous write-up in the Retirement pages of the Sunday Telegraph, Mr D. Stand by for a flood of wrinkly/crumbly comment.

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stop smoking

Oh the sacking of Martin Jol proved like a very bad idea...cause after him they got Juande Ramos...and here comes in the stuff you talked about..the Spurs got Ramos which had a great record with Seville and one that knows not a lot about football but looks at his record would say he must have been succesful...and yet Tottenham made the worst record under his leadership...and then they got Harry Rednknap...a man that has a good record..but not as good one as Juande..and in the Harry era...well he got them from the dropout zone and into the uefa cup zone fight...and this year they're fighting for a champions leage place..that's why we love football..you can't predict with certainty anything about it

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