Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Oh dear. Another crazy owner who knows jackshit about football thinks he owns the world and can make bad decisions at the expense of everyone else at the club - players, coaches and fans. Manchester City manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, is, according to the BBC, going to be sacked at the end of this season by billionaire owner Thaksin Shinawatra. Manchester City have had one of their best seasons in recent years. They may have slipped since the turn of the year but they will finish in the top ten, precisely the target set for Eriksson. I thought you usually kept your job if you met your targets. He may even exceed them. What does Shinawatra expect? Manchester City to win the Premiership? I've not been a fan of Eriksson for a while now. I think he was a great coach in his earlier days but he ended up a major disappoinment at the helm of England and I think his decisions largely cost England in the last World Cup. However, he has done a great job at City. The players like him, the fans like him. It just appears that the owner doesn't. What is with these power crazy owners? We've seen the shenanigans at Liverpool. OK, Liverpool have faded in the Premiership but they are still in the Champions' League for Christ's sake. Benitez remains a top notch coach.
I think there are lessons for everyone. Owning a football club, particularly in England, is not simply a financial investment. You have to have the players' and fans' interests at heart. Glory does not come overnight. I would not be at all surprised if the Manchester City fans take to the streets on this one. Maybe Mr. Shinawatra's days at City could also be numbered?
Here's the BBC link to the story.


Anonymous said...

I can't speak to the Man City ownership situation, but in general and across sporting lines I think owners are becoming more involved operationally. The combination of high salaries, television rights, transfer fees, the internationalisation of the game, etc., are changing the dynamic and forcing owners to get involved when they feel their investment is impacted.

Take a look at Kroenke right now. I won't comment on the Rapids, but he has some tough decisions to make with respect to the Nuggets and Avalanche. In the current era, a team missing its goals means a difference in millions of dollars of revenue and valuation, and can initiate a long-term decline in competitiveness. So we shouldn't be surprised that higher profile and higher finance means greater ownership demands and intervention.

Nick Thomas said...

I agree, Joey, that owners need to be involved and will increasingly be so because of their own investments. However, it is the way of being involved and the expectations that need to be more considered by any owner/investor. If the Man City guy really expects to win titles or compete for a Champions' League spot, maybe he should have invested elsewhere? Thanks, as always, for your comments.

Allen said...

Given Sven's track record and given Citeh's troubles before taking over, I'm surprised they're not going to sit back and give Sven 3 years. The squad is still thin on talent when compared to the big boys. Look at Moyes at Everton. It hasn't all been on the up and up the whole time. They've had some set backs but in the end I think most would agree the squad and team are overall better than they were 3 years ago. I think Sven can do better with Citeh given some time + given the amount of cash they're willing to spend on players.

Brennan said...

An owner must be ambitious but realistic. Man City can contend but it will take time. And you don't do it by cutting the legs out from the coach that got you where you are today. If he met his goals for the year, keep him. Set goals a bit higher for next year, give him the resources (money) to get there and then assess his performance at the end of next season. This is how progress is made. When you have setbacks you analyze why and if a new coach is needed, THEN you make that move. Just my two cents.