Tuesday, 5 February 2013

McLeish's Departure is Bad for Game

Twitter - @jamesAgrayson

Can the managerial merry-go-round get any madder, according to Nottingham Forest it can. Alex McLeish’s departure after 40 days is another shining example of how silly football can be at times. In 1974 when Brian Clough lasted 44 days as Leeds United, it was seen as a freak event. In 2013, if a manager is sacked after ten days, no-one bats an eyelid.

But people have to realise that departures or sackings like McLeish’s are spoiling football and making the sport a laughing stock. And most of the blame lies at the door of foreign owners. We currently have the situation where three once respectable teams are joke-clubs. Chelsea are running out of managers that they can appoint after sacking all the ones who have brought them success. Blackburn are slowly returning to normality after two ridiculous appointments in Steve Kean and Henning Berg. Now Forest have joined the show after McLeish quit to leave them absurdly looking for their fourth manager of the season.

I have a lot of sympathy for McLeish. He was obviously promised financial backing in the January transfer window, but ultimately the owners failed to deliver. The George Boyd transfer saga was the tip of the iceberg for McLeish who ended the transfer window with less players in his squad than when he was appointed at the end of December.

The Kuwaiti owners claim they want Premier League football at the City Ground, but with manager stability like they currently have, Forest will never get there. QPR had a similar problem in the early stages of Flavio Briatore’s reign as owner before they realised they needed to give a manager time to deliver. They did and Neil Warnock got them to the Premier League within a year of taking charge.

Forest have to take the same approach. I don’t think they will be able to persuade a big-name to take charge after the McLeish fiasco. However, they have to find stability and give their next manager time to do his job and not give them false promises.

Whilst not as big as other current issues in football like corruption, racism and match fixing, the hiring and firing of managers is a problem. I, for one, find that it spoils my enjoyment of the sport.

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