Turnover among top managers hurts soccer at the highest levels

The upside of hiring a promising manager is lacking for both sides: Consider Andre Villas-Boas and David Moyes. Both were considered hot prospect managers, up and comers who would be the next generation of super-managers. Both were quickly burned out by Chelsea and United, respectively, and have yet to regain that superstar status they were predicted. This could be due to the fact they were not exemplary managers to begin with, but it could also very well be that unrealistic expectations placed upon these young managers sets them up to fail. The result is clubs would rather gamble on a Carlo Ancelotti, who has a track record, than hire an unproven manager who could make the owners look foolish. Conversely, while good managers always assume they can win wherever they go, what’s the incentive for a manager making a name for himself to step up to a Chelsea or Real Madrid when they can move to a team on the cusp of contending and try to make a name for themselves there.

The managerial shuffle over-inflates player wages: You don’t put cheap plastic covers on a Corvette’s seats, and, in the same way, when you hire a super-manager you don’t force them to use the players on hand. Management is keen to open their wallets to pay for the top-flight talent their new manager wants, no, needs to win. Selling clubs jack up the price because they know the superclubs will pay, and the new manager sells off his disgruntled stars to another super team needing to make a splash in the transfer market. Hence, you get massive wage bills before players and managers have had a chance to proven themselves.

Ultimately, the fans end up paying for this constant game of shells: Yes, it’s cool that your favorite club just hired Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, but at some point the owners need to make up the cash paying the manager’s salary and player wage bill. That’s why we are seeing the skyrocketing of ticket prices, sponsorship, and bad preseason tours. This does not just affect the fans of major clubs, as wages rise for all players once the top flight ones are getting paid and thus your team eventually has to keep raising revenue to keep up.

At some point, this soccer bubble of spending and the race for managers will burst, and the patience afforded people like Arsene Wenger will be longed for by fans tired of the constant churn and higher prices.

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  1. ribman December 25, 2015
  2. JJ December 28, 2015

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