Should Managers Be Allowed To Change Clubs When Players Cannot?


If you’ve followed EPL Talk over the past week or so, you’ll have seen reports on the possibility of Owen Coyle leaving current club Burnley and taking over at Premier League rivals Bolton. The story has been covered daily since it broke everywhere from The Telegraph to The Guardian, but I recently read an interesting post from Gabriele Marcotti on the Times Online that raised a question I believe readers of EPL Talk would like to debate. Simply put, players are not allowed to play for a club one week and join another club the next (except in the FIFA approved January transfer window), so why then are managers allowed that freedom? 

Essentially what’s at stake this year for both clubs is top-flight football and survival in the Premier League. Coyle has been very impressive this season and has Burnley at the top of the current over achievers list. Bolton sacked the incredibly unpopular Gary Megson recently as they seem doomed to another year of mid-table mediocrity. But Marcotti’s article raised some very interesting points of debate:

  • Coyle will surely have an incredible amount of inside information on Burnley if he takes the Bolton job. Including but not limited to: 
  • which players Burnley plans to sign, if any, in January
  • tactical formations Burnley excel with
  • form of current Burnley players – their strengths and weaknesses, etc.

Wouldn’t Arsene Wenger love to have this sort of inside information on one of his rivals? And remember, we’re talking about two teams that are currently separated by 2 points in the table, Burnley in 14th on 20 points and Bolton in 18th on 18 points. We’ll all have to wait and see what happens in the case of the on going Coyle and Bolton saga, but if Coyle leaves, the controversy could come sooner rather than later as Bolton host Burnley in the league this month, Tuesday the 26th.

I’d love to read your thoughts on whether or not you think it’s fair for a manager to leave a club only to be hired by another club when a player doesn’t have the same right. Does it give the managers new club an advantage over the club he just left? Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Civrock January 6, 2010
  2. Civrock January 6, 2010
  3. dlink09 January 6, 2010
  4. Lucky Luciano January 6, 2010
    • man99utd January 6, 2010
  5. Lebronfeldt January 6, 2010
  6. Matt Booher January 6, 2010
  7. Barmcake January 6, 2010
    • Jesse January 6, 2010
  8. brn442 January 6, 2010
  9. Harry January 6, 2010
    • Jesse January 6, 2010
  10. man99utd January 6, 2010
    • brn442 January 6, 2010
  11. GhostDog312 January 6, 2010
  12. CA_backpacker January 6, 2010

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