LMA need to enforce guaranteed contracts to protect managers

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Football News

 Now that the worst kept secret in football is out, and Jose Mourinho has been announced as the new Manchester United manager, it's probably pertinent to ask, at what point will managers at league clubs enjoy any kind of realistic security of tenure?  

Surely the time must be near when managers are actually going to be allowed the time needed to do the job for which they've been appointed, without having to look over their shoulders at what's being said about their job prospects.

Or, will Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger really be the last managers in the Premier League, or indeed any other league, to be given anything like the time required to build a successful team?


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"Football is a changing world, and the one thing managers are used to is getting the sack," said Steve Bruce, manager of Hull City, recently. 

"The lifespan of a manager is now around thirteen to fourteen months, which is ludicrous." 

The League Managers Association (LMA) agrees: "2015/16 was the worst season ever for managerial sackings, with fifty-six managers being dismissed over the course of the season."

In other words, sixty per cent of managers lost their jobs during the season, and not all of them returned to the game.

In no other industry are managers of multi-million pound organisations discarded with the frequency of managers at football clubs. When Marks & Spencer report falling sales figures, or Morrisons posts a profits warning, the initial reaction of the board of directors isn't usually to sack the chief executive. 

Can anyone really say Manuel Pellegrini did a bad job at Manchester City, with a Champions League semi-final appearance and a top four placing? Harry Redknapp took Tottenham Hotspur into the Champions League, but chairman Daniel Levy still sacked him.

The managerial merry-go-round is now a national sport for the football writers. At the point in time when a team experiences a bad run, the scribes immediately write "pressure on the manager" in every report, and what are laughingly billed as "press conferences" inevitably revolve around questions like "how concerned are you about your job?" with the ensuing report concentrating purely on how long has the manager before being sacked. 

During December and January last, how Louis can Gaal ever managed to concentrate on football, given the tabloid hysteria surrounding his position, was nothing short of remarkable.

The LMA should be looking for all managers to be given legally guaranteed contracts, stipulating they cannot be dismissed for at least two, possibly even three, seasons after their appointment, irrespective of whatever occurs afterwards, to allow them to make whatever changes might be required to change the clubs fortunes.

Clubs also need to be realistic. Everton sacking Martinez does not guarantee the next manager will turn the club into credible champions league candidates in one season. Without such a guarantee, the LMA will likely be reporting even more managers losing their positions in 2016/17.

Should the LMA be doing more to protect managers? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Luis Suarez
Premier League
Manchester City

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