We are approaching a point in the European domestic season when clubs will start to think seriously about their future direction. The English Premier League is known forlayoff season“An excess of managerial moves that could happen anytime between September and the end of November leading up to the January transfer window.
Already this season, three Premier League managers have lost their jobs: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Bournemouth) and, last week, Bruno Lage (Wolverhampton). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of United was the sixth boss to be sacked on 21 November.
European clubs are also open to early dismissals: Domenico Tedesco leaves the German Bundesliga club on September 7, and is replaced a day later by former Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose, who lost his job over the summer. . Meanwhile, sources told Sportzshala that Spanish La Liga side Sevilla had reached an agreement with former coach Jorge Sampaoli to replace Julen Lopetegui, and Bayer Leverkusen fired manager Gerardo Seoane to bring in Xabi Alonso.
Sometimes it’s a simple decision based on results; sometimes it happens quite unexpectedly. But what influences the decision to fire a manager or head coach? Someone who was there and did it is former AS Monaco sporting director Thor-Christian Carlsen. Here he answers some of the key questions about how a club decides to part ways with a person in charge.
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Q. We have already used the terms “manager” and “head coach”… What is the difference between them? Is there a separate protocol for firing each of them?
BUT. A manager is the traditional British definition of an overarching, all-powerful figure who is usually in charge of all matters relating to the sporting side of a football club. From running the academy to scouting and recruiting, the medical department and day-to-day preparation, training, first team composition, the manager will have the last word – or at least a strong influence – in all matters.
Often exemplified by long-term frontmen such as Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), the manager may be on the verge of becoming obsolete as most clubs – even in the UK – take a more diversified approach. in which most of the non-training/matchday duties are taken over by the sports director.
The head coach usually works under (or in conjunction with) the sports director and is usually tasked with matters related to the training of the team, such as preparing and selecting teams for matches and leading them during games. Although hybrid versions of the role also exist, the head coach usually focuses on the tactical aspects of the first team, while they are rarely involved (although often consulted) on financial or strategic matters.
At a structural level, the manager usually reports directly to the owner/management, while the head coach in most cases reports to the sporting director. In the event of a layoff, the process need not be different, except that the athletic director may be the instigator and break the bad news to the head coach, while the owner or chairman may report it to the manager.
Editor’s Note: For the rest of this article, we’ll refer to the title of head coach to avoid confusion, unless we’re talking about a specific example of a manager.
Q. What are some of the reasons why the head coach and the club will part ways? Is it always about results?
BUT. While poor results are the most common catalyst for sacking, there may be other reasons for early separation, such as a lack of alignment with the club’s core sporting structure – a reason Chelsea recently voiced over Tuchel’s unexpected removal. .
Manchester City parted ways with Roberto Mancini in 2013 as they favored a more “holistic” approach to their sporting structure; Before the arrival of sporting director Chika Begiristain, the Italian played a role more like a coach, but in the last season he was practically demoted to head coach status before being replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.
A clash of personalities or an inability to sing from the same hymn sheet – like Parker’s repeated public complaints about the lack of transfer funds in Bournemouth – can also play a part. However, if the results are satisfactory, then internal disagreements or lack of understanding between key decision makers are often overlooked. The real tension comes to the surface after a few defeats.
Q. How long does it take to make a decision? Who is involved in making this decision and who makes the final decision?
BUT. In fact, the evaluation of the work of the head coach is a continuous, permanent process. After four or five games of bad results, doubts begin to surface, and unless a club has a particularly patient owner or sporting director who understands that there are ups and downs to executing a long-term strategy, then things can happen quickly.
Given that the financial implications of missing goals, such as qualifying for the Champions League or avoiding relegation, are so significant, tough decisions are just around the corner. In today’s environment of wealthy, down-to-earth owners, who often come from a culture or business climate far removed from football, it’s often the people who pay the bills (and who eventually have to cover compensation fees or severance pay too) who make the last call.
In some cases the sporting director will be consulted and may even recommend a change – although few sporting directors have the authority to oversee the process – but it is usually owner/board level dissatisfaction that drives the ball.
Q. Do players ever participate? If yes, how and why?
BUT. Players in a club are rarely directly involved in evaluating their boss. Evaluating their own leader and encouraging him to voice his concerns is not their job—although some modern head coaches are happy to receive feedback on their own initiative—can send a signal of doubt, which in turn can affect results or direction. However, the relationship between the head coach and the players is subject to constant monitoring, and there are several ways to deal with this in a less obvious way.
Exceptions do exist, and there have been cases where a player (or his agents) had a close relationship with the club’s senior management and, as a result, helped plot the head coach’s downfall. Of course, such an attitude is clearly unhealthy and undermines the entire chain of club management.
Q. Do clubs ever make a decision at the board of directors and then not tell the manager until the end of the season? Does it ever get awkward?
BUT. It happens. Sometimes the position of the head coach is even less secure than it seems from the outside. If the season ends with a disappointing finish at the bottom of the mid-table or certain targets have not been met despite not being relegated, then clubs may be actively looking to renew their coaching team for next season as early as February or March.
Such circumstances represent a particularly delicate “hidden transition” for key decision makers at the club. The athletic director, who is typically in charge of succession planning and is usually the head coach’s closest ally, has no choice but to play a fine balancing act, convincingly supporting the incumbent while remaining secret (more on this process later). report only to the elite in the highest hierarchy of the club) are looking for a replacement.
Under such circumstances, an eerie atmosphere often reigns in the club as a spirit of suspicion spreads. One might wonder why the sporting director is flying to meetings across Europe at an unprecedented rate? Or suddenly becomes unrecognizably elusive? All the while, potential new candidates are constantly being mentioned in the media – often by agents, as it’s nearly impossible to keep a lid on a search that involves searching for multiple candidates.
This double act is one of the least appealing aspects of the athletic director’s assignment, and has both moral dilemmas and practical implications. But sometimes it is necessary to achieve the goal of creating a new coaching team for the new season.
Q. How does the graduation talk go? What things are they talking about and is it always done personally in the modern world?
BUT. While having to tell someone they’ve lost their job is never pleasant, most seasoned head coaches have either gone through the exercise before, see the writing on the wall, or stoically accept that being fired is part of the downsizing. throat industry.
However, others, when the termination comes unexpectedly, can be quite emotional. There are never two identical meetings; some take it personally and refuse to say a word until they have consulted or summoned legal counsel to the scene, while others simply feel relieved from their suffering.
While most clubs have the class and decency to break the news at a scheduled meeting, one hears of head coaches being briefed by email or other means. In one recent example, one major league head coach was relieved of his duties and told not to report to work via a WhatsApp voice message.
Q. But they get financial returns/calculations, right? Is it usually the length of their contract or a set amount?
BUT. It differs. While some managers have termination terms already clearly stated in the contract, others will rely on their legal advisors to work out the deal, or insist on paying the remainder of their contracts (where they will be put on “gardening leave” until calculation reached.)
To give you some idea of the numbers of big-name bosses, Manchester United reports have shown that José Mourinho received around £15…