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Golden Handshake at Newcastle United?

10 months ago

Here’s an idea that Mike Ashley at Newcastle United – and maybe every other owner / chairman / director of football – might think about taking on board.

When you next have to appoint a manager/head coach, try asking them what they expect to actually bring to the table if appointed.

Ask them, for example, what would be the minimum number of league points in a given number of games that they would consider acceptable, given the playing resources which they would inherit.

Now ask them if they agree, bearing in mind that 40 points from 38 games is generally regarded as the minimum to guarantee survival in the EPL (more than a point per game), that any run of (say) 12 games returning less than 12 points – it could be 8 from 8 or 10 from 10 – would be proof that the manager responsible was incompetent to the point of dismissal.

Now if, at the interview stage, they do agree that failure to “accumulate” more than 1 point per game would be proof of incompetence, then surely they would not object to having a clause written into any potential contract to the effect that any such incompetence would result in any severance compensation being forfeit.

Would you really want to appoint someone who doesn’t think they have the talent to even just avoid relegation?

How would such a clause deter any manager worth having?

“Aha!”, I hear you say “But what if the interviewee says they will require certain funding in order to achieve said target.”
In that case, the clause would be void if such funding were not forthcoming.

Such points/funding targets need not be limited to avoiding relegation but to top ten finishes, European/Champions League qualification etc.

Similarly, why, when football managers are sacked, do many of them still get pay-offs in a lump sum.

Surely the more sensible approach for all clubs, would be to continue to pay them their monthly salary but only if they are doing no paid work for anyone else.

I’m thinking specifically of managers / coaches who go to new clubs well before the sacking club’s contract expiry date.

The argument is always put to me that no decent manager / coach would agree to the imposition of such (IMHO) sensible safeguards and conditions.

I would argue that you should not be appointing anyone who would NOT agree to them.

Now then, could all this possibly have just occurred to me as a result of FCB’s reluctance for Newcastle United to fork out £4m to rid us of THE most incompetent manager we’ve ever had?

Well no, actually.

I particularly thought about it when our other illustrious super and serial failures, Souness and Allardyce, were walking into oblivion elsewhere, their wallets bulging with Geordie lucre.

I cannot believe that, even with a “failure” clause to agree to, dozens of excellent coaches would not jump at the chance to manage Newcastle United – yes even with Mike Ashley still in charge.

OK, we may not get a Pochettino or even a Rafa back while Ashley is here, but to say, as Bruce’s media buddies do, that the likes of Chris Wilder, Sean Dyche or Eddie Howe would not jump at the chance to work at this “huge” club of ours, even under Mike Ashley, is nonsense.



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