Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's a difficult business

Her Majesty the Queen commented this week that football 'is a difficult business' full of 'prima donnas' but 'it's a wonderful game.' No doubt the Queen's remarks were scripted for her by one of the plummy sounding gents who hang around Buck House (I have to admit I have only been there once and then to the garden), but they would probably strike a chord with Les Reed and Mark Robson. The comparative statistics produced by No.1 Chalfont St.Peter's Addick Dick Sheppard show just how far behind the curve we are compared with previous seasons.

I was pretty stunned by the rapid departure of Iain Dowie, and wondered whether he had had a 'fair go' as they say down under. But as far as I understand the board's decision (and I haven't had the chance to read yesterday's programme yet) it comes down to: 'We made the wrong decision in the summer and we wanted to put it right before it was too late.'

Some of Addickted are suggesting we need a 'proper manager', what ever that is, although I suppose they mean someone who has more Premiership experience than Les. But for better or worse, the decision has been taken, and it is difficult to see the door revolving one more time. One thing that I didn't realise before was that we had to pay up one year of Dowie's contract so the cost to the club was 'only' £800,000.

What I do think is that the rotation of managers in football is become ridiculous. In the Championship they survive for little more than a year on average. Respected football writer Simon Kuper had an interesting article on the subject in the Financial Times yesterday (no point in giving the URL as the FT site has subscription access).

His main points were:
1. Managers in football are found in a mad rush, a few days, compared with a search process in business that takes four to five months.
2. The new manager is interviewed 'only cursorily' compared with a presentation and several interviews in business appointments.
3. A new manager in Britain doesn't traditionally study for the job.
4. The new manager is often unqualified, even if he has qualifications.
5. The new manager is appointed either because he is free (which usually means recently sacked) or because he has achieved good results in the last few weeks.
6. The new manager is generally chosen not for his managerial skills, but because his name, appearance and skills at public relations are likely to impress the club's fans, players and the media.

Interesting to think about how much of this applies to the original Dowie appointment, but it might also suggest that Charlton were not foolish to appoint from within. But time will deliver its verdict on that and I'm not too hopeful that we can escape relegation. Which doesn't mean that the board were wrong to intervene or even that they made the wrong decision in choosing Reed and Robson plus the as yet unknown third ingredient.


Blogger worcestershireleaburn said...

Wynn - I also wonder how much of this manager rotation is occurring due to the transfer window for players. Before the window came in, all the talk was of players leaving and arriving. Now this only happens at designated times of the year, it's managers who are forever coming and going!

11:50 AM  

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