Football

Does football need a transfer window for managers?

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Do Matteo & Villas-Boas were both sacked prematurely. (©GettyImages)
Do Matteo & Villas-Boas were both sacked prematurely. (©GettyImages).

‘Sacked in the morning, you’re getting sacked in the morning’ – A chant often heard at Premier League matches to a manager after a few bad results.

Such is the brutality of club owners these days; the chant is far too often becoming true. A couple of bad results can leave any manager fearing for his job, no matter what he’s done in the past.

Clubs are changing managers, sometimes a couple of times a season giving him no chance at all to stamp his authority on the squad. 

When Sir Alex Ferguson first took over at Manchester United, it wasn’t all trophies and silverware for him. It took him time to turn the club into one of the most successful clubs in the World. If Ferguson was managing nowadays, the brute reality is that he probably would have been sacked long before he had time to transform the club.

A couple of defeats and managers fear for their job. With the sack always at the back of their mind, how can you expect managers to work with this pressure?

Why not introduce a window, in which you can only appoint and sack managers?

This window, similar to the player transfer window, would mean managers could only be sacked or appointed in either January or during the summer.

This means that, after a few bad performances, a manager doesn’t go into each match fearing that it could be his last. He knows he will be in the job until the next window and knows he has time to turn things around. It means he will have less pressure on him and is safe in the knowledge that he can’t be dismissed until the next window.

Last season there were 63 managerial changes in English football with 43 sackings and 20 resignations according to the end-of-season report published by the LMA.

That’s suggests an average of over two thirds of the 92 clubs changed their manager during the season. In the Premier League that average tenure for a manager is now 2.81 seasons. If you take Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger out of the equation the longest-serving manager is Alan Pardew having been at Newcastle for two and a half years. If you think that’s low, compare it to the average Championship manager, which is 1.04 seasons.

These stats clearly demonstrate the lack of time a manager gets in his job. This is why people call it the ‘manager merry-go-round’ as they join clubs and leave before they have chance to get their feet under the desk.

Players get protection in the form of four or five year contracts with sacking of a player due to bad performances non-existent. So why do manager’s get sacked so easily when players don’t?

Managers cannot be expected to go about their job in the way they want with the prospect of being dismissed looming over them constantly.

Blackpool manager Paul Ince believes that the lack of managerial stability is preventing young coaches from wanting to get involved in the game and also called for a manager transfer window.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Ince said: "Why would the Steven Gerrard’s and the Jamie Carragher’s want to go into management when there's no protection for them?

“It's OK that we can protect players because they're on contracts. We can sell them in January, and if they don't want to go, they stay.

"It should be exactly the same as a manager. It stops all the commotion and it makes sense. Someone needs to seriously look at it," he added.

It would stops clubs like Chelsea and owners like Roman Abramovich from freely switching managers during the season and prevent manager’s being sacked rashly as chairmen panic at a few defeats.

It’s an idea that seems so simple but has rarely been mentioned before. Paul Ince is the highest profile figure to have insisted it should be put in place and there’s very little reason as to why it should be opposed. Chairmen would think very carefully when selecting their next manager instead of appointing anyone, knowing that you can easily sack them if they’re not a success.

A transfer window for managers should definitely be implemented or at least tested. It would help the stability of clubs and would relieve the pressure on the manager’s shoulders as they know that they have time to turn around a couple of bad performances. 

Fans would have no choice but to get behind their manager instead of calling for his head at every match because they know he cannot be sacked until a window.


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Topics:
Premier League
Football
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