BLAME GAME IS SET FOR SHIFT IN FU­TURE

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

IT IS only a mat­ter of time be­fore more clubs fol­low Norwich in build­ing their club around a sport­ing di­rec­tor.

Stu­art Web­ber, the 33year-old poached from Huddersfield, is the ex­pen­sively-re­mu­ner­ated jewel in the Ca­naries’ re­struc­tured crown and will lead the hunt for a new man­ager.

Web­ber, along­side man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Steve Stone, will also have a ma­jor hand in player re­cruit­ment.

Old-school­ers may dis­agree but, im­ple­mented cor­rectly, the sport­ing di­rec­tor model beats an all-pow­er­ful man­ager in most as­pects.

Sure, the ‘gaffer’ loses a bit of au­thor­ity. But, crit­i­cally, it pre­vents the dam­ag­ing and ex­pen­sive churn of play­ers and staff that has been so cat­a­strophic for clubs like Black­burn.

Wat­ford, who went through four man­agers in their 2013-14 pro­mo­tion sea­son, show how ir­rel­e­vant a set­tled squad can ren­der any amount of up­heaval.

Huddersfield have shown how a sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship be­tween di­rec­tor and man­ager can make light of bud­getary re­stric­tions.

It works, but there must be one caveat. If the man­ager is just a coach, he can no longer be made a scape­goat for a team’s fail­ings. If he is not all-pow­er­ful, he can­not be all-cul­pa­ble.

Men like Web­ber have seized power in the game, and that is broadly pos­i­tive. But when the play­ers they bought and the man­ager they chose are fail­ing, they need to face the mu­sic. To do other­wise is cow­ardly.

MOVE: Stu­art Web­ber

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