Why Fear Of Football Stars,Is The Beginning Of Wisdom!
31st of August 2013,Sunderland has just lost its away fixture to Crystal Palace 3 goals to 1 and at the press conference afterwards, Paulo Di Canio (then Manager of Sunderland) vents his anger, critically, on his captain (John O’Shea) and other players like he has done often since his arrival at the club in public.
23 days later he is graciously shown out the door and sacked by the club after reported discussions with the players who wanted their manager gone!
Jose “The Special One” Mourinho, a master at player management, so good at it that when he left his clubs for greener pastures etc be it Porto, Chelsea or Inter Milan, players cried in public in their supposed loss of a friend and manager.
Got to Real Madrid after a glorious season at Inter(where he won the Treble) fell out with The Captain Iker Cassillas and eventually with the star players (Cristiano Ronaldo Included) end result he was forced out of the club but the players stayed to continue!
Roberto Mancini brought the English Premier league after over half a Century wait to Manchester City, a year later was Asked to leave and replaced by Manuel Pellegrini after falling out regularly with certain players amongst others, star player Mario Ballotelli.
The list is endless but quite interesting. How did players get this powerful in a short time. This was not the case in the 80’s and 90’s?
What could the reasons behind this growing phenomenon be?
THE BOSMAN RULING
Prior to 1996,players had very little power and in some cases were treated like slaves and then came the Bosman Ruling that practically changed football dramatically for good. What is the Bosman Ruling you may ask? this Ruling : “The decision banned restrictions on foreign EU players within national leagues and allowed players in the EU to move to another club at the end of a contract without a transfer fee being paid”…
Players became masters of their destiny and prior to this the clubs and coaches could do what they wanted with the players since if the player did not toe club or manager lines they were practically left to rot in the second team or no team at all even though their contracts had outran it’s duration.
Players are now consequentially stronger than before and feared by clubs especially collectively!
EASIER TO SACK 1 Than 22
When things are not going well in a soccer club that has 22 players and 1 manager, especially when it emanates from poor working relationships, it is obviously easier and financially wiser to get rid of one and replace him than the whole group of 22 players.
Players are too aware of this and take often advantage of this!
WAGES & PURCHASE PRICE
Players today cost way more than the 90’s etc thanks also to the Bosman Ruling, they earn way better than before and when in problems with coaches are difficult to go against by Business savvy club owners or directors.
Problems with this players send their selling price way down than purchasing price and eventually lead to serious losses. Whereas Coaches are relatively cheaper to buy or replace!
CHANGE IN PLAYER STATUS
Players no longer see themselves as slaves or subordinates to their employers, club owners or managers but more see themselves as equal partners!
PLAYER PRESSURE GROUPS
These days players now have associations, good legal representatives, better managers and legal representatives,they have their own pressure groups that cater for their interests and at the same time make them hard to manoeuvre!
MANAGERS WHO REFUSE TO LEARN,LOSE!
Paulo Di Canio for example after saving Sunderland from relegation practically cleaned the team out. Bringing in 14 new players! How on earth could he not have known that the players would be unhappy with a complete out clearing of their work colleagues and friends and act once able?
How could Mourinho not realise that Madrid is a special club where the dressing room is known for decades to run the club?
Mangers need to realise that players have to be manipulated or wait for the right moment to be shown out.
However there are some exceptions that give us some hope of eventual chaos and serve as a check and balance to player power.
Sir Alex Fergusson threw a football shoe that cut the eyes of them superstar of Manchester united, David Bechkam,injuring him to bleeding point, had problems with Star players like Jaap Stam,Carlos Tevez,Saha etc but at the end these players were shown the way out but Sir Ferguson stayed put to retire when he felt fit and the players off loaded!
The Professor,Arsene Wenger has had problems with star players: Jens lehman,Chamakh,Arshavin,drunk players, unhappy players, even fans but eventually he stayed put and is still there but the players moved on.
IS THIS GOOD FOR FOOTBALL
I feel this is a natural evolution of football and in some way serves as checks and balances to the excesses of certain managers and clearly makes managers and clubs realise that you are as good as your utensils and they need better management and the days of despotic managers or club owners are in the past!
Players have become partners and not slaves!
Rising Player Power,A Threat Or Inevitable Evolution? I feel it is a natural evolution that needs good management…
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