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the
manager
AUTUMN 2011
Te end of summer, frantic last-day transfer deadline activity
highlights the need for football to continue to review its systems
and practices.
A survey of business leaders questioning the most important
aspects of their role would no doubt highlight the recruitment
of talent to their teams as one of their primary responsibilities.
Te ‘recruitment process’ in the business world is an industry in
itself and one that absorbs signifcant investment, both fnancial
and in terms of human capital. Te process is considered and
painstaking and employees do not move quickly from frm to
frm... and certainly not on artifcial deadlines.
In football, the recruitment of talent or ‘scouting’ has progressed
signifcantly over recent years. It has become a highly skilled,
extremely scientifc and international function. When one considers
that the Barclays Premier League clubs spent in excess of £485m this
summer alone then it is fair to say the stakes are high. ‘Deadline day’
rumours and speculation can be exciting for fans, but its structure
adds signifcant time pressure to clubs and can undo or ignore much
of the valuable work that has been done in the preceding months.
Perhaps there is no perfect system, but there are elements of the
current structure that are clearly fawed. In 2008 UEFA president
Michel Platini implied he would like to see changes and that a
review of the system should be undertaken, but to date this has not
happened. Te LMA’s members are at the sharp end of football’s
recruitment market, it is one of the most visible and debated parts
of their role. It is time that a review was implemented; a review in
which the LMA should play an important role.
Globally, football has never been more proftable, but a closer look
at the game reveals worrying trends: the start of the season delayed
in two of football’s biggest leagues, Spain and Italy; a club thrown
out of the UEFA Champions League over match-fxing allegations;
players’ wages continuing to spiral upwards; and the continuing
issues of governance and transparency right at the top of the game.
Football is the industry in which the LMA’s members earn their
living. Individual issues such as the transfer window have a direct
impact on a manager’s working environment; other broader issues
are no less important and can have an equally signifcant infuence
on the day-to-day lives of those working in the game.
Te LMA and its members are keen to ensure that, as a collective,
the managers in England, past and present, continue to share their
knowledge and experience (from well over 100,000 games at the top
level) and contribute to the strategy of the game moving forward.
During the forthcoming season, we will be coordinating a series
of ‘think tanks’ and forums bringing together our members,
managers from across Europe and all of the game’s stakeholders, to
discuss and debate football’s issues.
Te game – at all levels, from grass roots to national, from pan-
regional to global – needs to develop more coherent, three, fve and
10-year plans, that review and assess, move the game forward and
place it in a strong position to tackle issues when they arise.
RICHARD BEVAN
LMA CEO
THE
MANAGERS’
VOICE
“It is time the
game reviewed the
current system of
transfer windows
and deadlines”