Manager vacancy: Director of football considered?

MAJ Media, Flickr MAJ Media, Flickr
Kevin Robinson October 22, 2012
Kevin Robinson
Hear hear 3 years ago

New chairmen John B and Mike G could introduce a more European structure to Turf Moor with their next managerial appointment, reports Kevin Robinson.

No Nay Never last week suggested the Club should consider introducing a new body to encourage long-term commitment and allow the manager to lend his attention more purely to on the field matters.

It now appears that such a setup is being considered. The Burnley Express reports this morning that the board will look to appoint a director of football to work alongside a likely more inexperienced first-team manager.

Co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz revealed that from an initial 15-20 candidates just three or four ‘really capable and hungry’ names remain in the running.

“I think we’ll have a decision by the end of next week,” he told the official website, adding that those still being considered were ‘quite similar’.

Manchester United reserve team boss Warren Joyce is thought to be a front-runner alongside Michael Appleton at Portsmouth and Steve Davis of Crewe. Former Burnley midfielder Graham Alexander remains a favourite, too, according to the Burnley Express and the Lancashire Telegraph.

With just have just two years experience of managing Football League sides between them, it is clear that the Club are again looking to go down the route of appointing a promising young boss.

Eddie Howe was just 33 when he arrived in the north-west, Owen Coyle had limited experience in the Scottish lower leagues and despite having over 200 games under his belt, Steve Cotterill’s managerial experience was almost exclusively at lower and non-league level.

The perceived lack of progress under Howe’s tenure has called for many fans to champion more experienced candidates to replace him such as Mick McCarthy, while others still favour the rookie approach. Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick could please both camps by pairing a young boss with an experienced director of football.

Davis and Appleton both have experience of working under such conditions at Crewe – where legendary former boss Dario Gradi is still employed in such a position – and West Brom respectively. Likewise the setup would be familiar to Joyce, whose role at United is one of coaching and matchday duties rather than more longer-term strategy and recruitment.

Though commonplace throughout most of Europe, sporting directors are the exception to the rule in British football, where the manager assumes control of all footballing matters from the top of the club to the bottom.

A strong working relationship between the manager and director of football is important and it is likely the Club would work closely with the new manager when bringing in such a figure, if they do go down that route. As such, it could be some time before any appointment is made.

Writing on No Nay Never last week, Jamie Smith wrote “DoFs work on the continent smoothly with managers in Europe operating more as a head coach, solely in charge of what goes on during games. English football might be able to improve by following suit and it would be a brave and exciting step for the board to take.

“Personally I can see the pros and cons of having a DoF. With the right combination of DoF and manager it could work perfectly, but the danger is there is too much conflict between the pair and the relationship breaks down.”

Should we appoint a director of football? Who would you like to see come in? Comment below.

  • Kevin Robinson
    Kevin Robinson

    Kudos to anybody who can guess who is in the image without cheating.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Kevin Robinson

      is it Sir Steve of Kean?

      • Kevin Robinson
        Kevin Robinsonin reply to Jamie Smith

        Certainly is Jamie, certainly is.

        • Jamie Smith
          Jamie Smithin reply to Kevin Robinson

          What a hero.

  • ste

    if judas 2 thinks keith treacy can be best in championship i will drive him 2 the south coast myself

    • Kevin Robinson
      Kevin Robinsonin reply to ste

      Judas 2, really?!

  • ste

    sorry i know its off the subject but the man is gettin patronising since he left

  • Mike Mada

    Sorry, but I don’t see Eddie as Judas2 at all.

    He left for I think probably justifiable family reasons and not because he thought he could better himself after seeking out a ‘better opportunity’, despite saying he was here for the long haul.

    I think Eddie would still be here but for the loss of his mother and becoming a family man. It might not be fashionable to admit hurt and pain in a man and in football, but I think that makes him much more of an honest person.

    Indeed, if anything, it shows a sense of sensitivity that would not have come from Judas at all.

    A big difference between the two – BIG difference.

    • Kevin Robinson
      Kevin Robinsonin reply to Mike Mada

      Hear hear