Why it matters whether you are called manager or head coach – The Athletic

A sporting director recalls a conversation with a Premier League head coach about salaries.

“I’m like, ‘So-and-so wants a new contract, do you want to keep it?’

“’He’s a good player, he’s part of my plans’.

“I’ll be like, ‘OK, great. Do you want to know what he does and what is asked of him?’. At first he would. I would say, ‘He asked for $50,000 a week’.


He bursts out laughing at the utter disbelief in the head coach’s voice. “So now he doesn’t really want to know about the finances anymore,” adds the sporting director with a smile.

Whether or not the man who picks the team can participate in these sorts of discussions is a sign of how big a change from the days when managers were supposed to master the art of negotiation – Sir Alex Ferguson devotes a section to it. in one of these books – as well as the best formation to choose on a Saturday.

The emergence of the sporting director role took much of that responsibility, workload and stress away from managers and in many ways paved the way for the appointment of a new generation of “ head coaches’ in English football. At least that’s the perception.

In reality, there are more managers (11) than head coaches (nine) in the Premier League and there is not necessarily a correlation with the sporting director model.