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Manager role changing within football, says Bevington

Managers may have to relinquish power in the future as football evolves, the Football Association’s former director of communications Adrian Bevington feels.


While European clubs have long embraced a sporting director role to help support bosses, their English counterparts have traditionally shied away from this – but Bevington believes now is the time to embrace change.

“Many of today’s managers have grown up in a culture where the manager is all controlling – but now clubs are so huge that’s unrealistic,” he said ahead of the inaugural Sporting Directors Global Summit.

“There are so many different skill sets at play here, it’s impractical to expect someone to take on all those responsibilities, as well as managing a big squad of players.

“Just because you’re a very good coach or manager, it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to operate well in the transfer market or be the best at identifying new talent. Of course, there are many examples of managers who are good at both, but in my view, that’s not what they should be spending their time doing.

“I’m not in any way trying to underplay the importance of the role of first-team manager – I still think they’re the most important employee in an organisation. They have to pick the team that gets results and be the public face of the club, but that doesn’t mean they should have responsibility for or control of every aspect of it.

“There should be cohesive relationships within clubs, with a clear understanding of where the roles and relationships sit. 

“And that’s where the sporting director comes in. They’re there to be the manager’s help and support mechanism, to look after the long-term vision of the club and ensure everyone works together to fulfil that.”

Mon 13 Apr, 2015
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