Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sacked in the Morning

Over recent weeks the Baggies have been in a fine run of  form and the run has claimed the jobs of 2 out of the 3 defeated managers and if Martin O'Neil had been judged purely on the basis of his side's performance at the Hawthorns we could have had a hat trick.

In truth both Villas-Boas and McCarthy were in the last chance saloon when they had the misfortune of playing an Albion side in a purple patch of form. Their charges then turned in below standard performances and they now have the opportunity of spending more time with their families.

It is not without irony that both clubs have promoted the previous manager's number 2. In the case of Wolves they appointed Terry Connor after a 2 week search for an alternative that bordered on farce and I would be amazed if the appointment has the desired effect (the early evidence would suggest not). Equally Chelsea's appointment of ex West Brom head coach Di Matteo does not inspire a great deal of confidence albeit they did act a little quicker than the Wolves but they are a little bit more practised at firing managers. Roughly 12 months after being out of his depth trying to keep the Baggies in the Premier League Di Matteo finds himself  nominally in charge of the Stamford Bridge dressing room trying to attain Champions League football.

Both Wolves and Chelsea hope to turn faltering seasons around by appointing a new coach until the end of the season. In both cases there is a financial imperative behind the move. In Wolverhampton's case it is survival in the Premier league and in Chelsea's it is retention of their champions league status. Whilst both are bankrolled by their respective owners neither would relish the prospect of failure, hence they sack the manager.

The reason why the financial consequences for both clubs are so dire is because of the players wages which are not sustainable the following season if the clubs fail to meet their immediate goals (they may not be sustainable in any event but that is a different story). However it is the players that are not delivering the goods that drive the clubs to sack their managers. As player sitting on a multi million pound contract the deal is succeed, get better contract or fail still get paid multi million pound wages and the manager gets sacked. As a professional footballer there seems very little downside risk to not performing to your potential. The misfiring Torres (whose lacklustre form has contributed to 3 managers being dismissed) cost Chelsea £50m and has a 5 year contract at Stamford Bridge which cannot be worth less than £30m. If a player like Torres fails beyond professional pride they have very little to lose on the other hand their manager and their club have a major headache.

Players their ego's and wages are a heavy burden for coaches to carry and the balance of power at most clubs is wrong.

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