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Should Managers Be Allowed To Change Clubs When Players Cannot?

coyle 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.

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16 Responses to Should Managers Be Allowed To Change Clubs When Players Cannot?

  1. Civrock says:

    I agree completely. Same rules should apply to managers, at least for the same league, due to obvious points already stated in your article.

  2. Civrock says:

    I agree completely. Same rules should apply to managers, at least for the same league, due to obvious points already stated in your post.

  3. dlink09 says:

    i think it is unfair.. players are treated as slaves.. remember who said that..

  4. Lucky Luciano says:

    Isn’t allowed in Serie A.

    Only if a coach is sacked is he allowed back to coach another team.

    I think that is the same in the NFL right?

    • man99utd says:

      I agree that Colye has acted foolishly throughout, but if managers can be sacked on the whim of the board or owner, why should they be restricted to move if they like. When a manager under contract is sacked the club must buy him out and it appears Burnley is demanding the same from Bolton. If managers are to be restricted from moving at will, clubs should be restricted from sacking managers at will.

  5. Lebronfeldt says:

    If the team losing the coach is compensated fairly, yes. If Burnley go down how much money will it cost the club then what Bolton will pay them?

  6. Matt Booher says:

    I’m not sure of the specific rules – but this does not happen in the NFL. Of course, every team is ensured the same $$ b/c of revenue sharing in the NFL so the cost of losing a manager is one bad season and fan discontent. This is also a problem in the US college game where players switching schools must sit out a year but a coach can move around as he pleases. It shouldn’t be allowed unless its between divisions.

  7. Barmcake says:

    Erm, it’s the January transfer window. Coyle would be moving during that window. Where’s the beef, then? Theoretically it’s not a bad idea, but it’s the wrong target to be using. Why didn’t you use Paul Hart’s sacking? Or Manchester “Famous Club” City? Oh, just answered my own question there.

    And to pick up on a few things in the article:

    “Bolton sacked the incredibly unpopular Gary Megson recently as they seem doomed to another year of mid-table mediocrity.”

    No, Bolton sacked Gary Megson because they seemed doomed to certain relegation. That’s what happens when you can’t get your team to defend, can’t get your team to hold onto leads and average under one point per league game – Megson’s return over 18 months.

    “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 ”

    Which they probably won’t if the manager who was doing the planning has gone.

    “tactical formations Burnley excel with”

    Under the manager that isn’t there anymore, and therefore not relevant anymore.

    “form of current Burnley players – their strengths and weaknesses, etc. ”

    Under the previous manager.

    “Wouldn’t Arsene Wenger love to have this sort of inside information on one of his rivals?”

    Only if he knew the manager pulling the strings.

    And how has Coyle “acted foolishly throughout”? He concentrated on getting Burnley through the FA Cup, he publicly stated before Megson’s sacking that Bolton holds a special place in his affections, he’s not badmouthed Burnley at any stage, and he’s going to a club that he loves. He might be getting more money, but he’s not moving for the money, or becase the club’s bigger. He’s moving because of his love for the club. This in a time where people contiuously moan about mercenaries in the game. Surely he should be commended for that, rather than demonised?

    • Jesse says:

      Barmcake,

      Thanks for the comment and some good points. Correct, we are in the window now, but the point of the article was what if it wasn’t in the window, say December or a month from now?

      In regards to Bolton, Yes, they’ll struggle with a relegation fight this year, but Bolton is the club who have spent the longest number of years in the top flight (70) without winning it. Never quite good enough for a top four finish and always avoiding relegation, thus mid-table mediocrity.

      Coyle’s been at Burnley since November/07, he’ll surely have an advantage by knowing the ins and outs of the club, players tendencies and where they could potential be “found out” by their opposition. Regardless of which new manager comes in to replace Coyle.

  8. brn442 says:

    I don’t know how he “acted foolishly” Unless you are going to ban clubs from sacking managers during the season then no. Coyle has a contract with Burnley, the club didn’t have to let him go but obviously it makes sense not to stand in his way if he wants to leave. The fact that he played for the the club is the only reason this move doesn’t seem like sheer lunacy on his part so best of luck to him.

  9. Harry says:

    wha??? did you wake up read gabriele marcotti’s blog and just cut and paste? shame on you jesse chula.

    • Jesse says:

      Wow, no, not at all. As you can see I was impressed with Marcotti and since he doesn’t write for EPL Talk I thought it would be an interesting debate. I even linked his original article to give him full credit.

  10. man99utd says:

    IMO he acted foolishly because Burnley is in a better position than Bolton, and they’re playing as well as can be expected. I’m not against mangers moving midseason, I just think he could have handled it better.

    Cheers

    • brn442 says:

      I would usually agree with you but the man has a history with Bolton. In life, you do what makes you happy, and if managing the club that he played for is going to do it for him, then who are we to say he that was foolish.

  11. GhostDog312 says:

    It is an interesting debate for sure but my biggest problem is that he is leaving the team he just brought into the EPL for a team trying to stay in the EPL. Being sissy and nostalgic I think Coyle should finish the year with Burnley to see it through, not for any other reason than it would be the right thing to do. Why not have an agreement where he signs to be the manager of Bolton NEXT season and then take over once THIS season is done. How is this different than say a manager leaving a Fulham for a Sunderland mid-season? Both teams are reasonable above the drop zone thus far less is at stake. Again my argument is not based on logic or legality, its more about what is good form.

  12. CA_backpacker says:

    If a club sacks their manager, I’d say they are giving up all “title” to that person and if a position opens up at another club, he should be free to go. If a manger steps down, then they should be prevented from managing, at least in the same League, for the remains of the current season. My $0.02 worth.

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