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Take On Board

15 December 2016

DEREK Adams believes that more football experience is needed in boardrooms throughout the country, in order to give managers the best platform to shine.

The football community in Britain has arched a collective eyebrow to the sacking of Gary Rowett from Birmingham City this week. Rowett headed to St Andrews having done an excellent job at Burton Albion, and swiftly began to work wonders in the West Midlands. 

Having saved Birmingham from relegation, he steered them to two consecutive 10th placed finishes, and at the point of being sacked, had Blues outside the play-offs on goal difference only. 

He was dismissed, though, and has been quickly replaced by former Chelsea and Italy star Gianfranco Zola. 

It is obviously the prerogative of Birmingham’s owners to appoint the manager they desire, but Derek is among many to express surprise at the decision. Adams thinks that is highlights a problem that runs deeper within English football. 

“I think something has to be put in place where boards, directors should have a qualification around football, rather than just having money to come in and buy a football club,” Derek said. 

“Football managers understand the running of a football club. Football clubs are run by people that, the majority of the time, don’t have football experience. That causes a huge problem. That happens all over the country, and they get influenced by outside influences. It causes the football manager huge problems. 

“That is what is wrong with the game. The game is never going to improve unless people at boardroom level have some sort of football education and licenses to know what they are doing.

“It doesn’t have to be [an ex-player]. It has to be somebody that has had a business background in football, or a footballing background – playing, coaching or managing – and they have to be in or around the board. Too many clubs in this country are run by people that have no experience – and I mean NO experience – of being around the football world. 

“The football world is completely different to a business background.”

Derek highlighted the importance of the position of manager, and how the man in charge has to take on board observations, critiques and advice for a variety of sources – yet still be his own man. 

“We have to be very careful who we are listening to,” he said. 

“With the world of social media, and newspapers having columns, they pick teams for managers when there are only about 25 votes. It isn’t helpful for a football manager. We are in a difficult position. 

“We had a Fans Forum here last week. We had 8,500 at the game, and we had less than 1% turn up to a Fans Forum. The people that are speaking out about different aspects in the football club are the minority, not the majority. 

“People that write and say things, and use what is said in forums, etc, are the minority, not the majority. That was shown last week at the Fans Forum. 

“Being a football manager is a difficult occupation. With time, you enjoy it, and there are many people out there who want to be one. Job security is a problem. It’s not something you can say you are going to be here for five or ten years, because that is just not the case. 

“I’m here as long as Derek Adams wants to be at the football club, or Plymouth Argyle want me to be at the football club. It’s a two-way thing. It’s no different to anywhere else.”


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