Why Football Managers, Fans And The Board Need To Stay Together

As football fans we have all seen banners at stadiums, we have all seen fans booing their manager and using social media to call for their sacking. But this can give the club an impossible decision; listen to their fans, the most important people associated with the club or back the man they hired. Here are my reasons why fans should not give the chairman this dilemma.

Continuity

This is a word you don’t hear in football anymore, especially when it comes to managers. In fact there are only two clubs in England who are exercising the art of continuity, Arsenal have been managed by Arsene Wenger for 20 years and Exeter City have had Paul Tisdale in charge for 10 years, and in that time Exeter have played in League One and never looked in any danger of relegation from League Two and Arsenal have won three Premier League titles, qualified for Europe every year since before I was born and went unbeaten for an entire season, becoming the first club to do so since Preston is the 1888/89 Football League season. The alternative is obviously to sack your manager after a couple of months or a year but look at Leyton Orient they have had four managers this season and are 23rd in League Two, how could they possibly be any higher with that much upheaval? Some other clubs have been affected by this lack of continuity, last season Notts County had three managers and finished 19th in League Two despite being tipped for promotion the previous August. So fans who want to sack a manager after 10 games; why do it? You have to pay compensation and appoint someone else, you might as well kiss goodbye to the top half of a league or worse your league status.

Support Of Each Other

Managers and fans need to stay together so that it is known that you support each other, a manager is not going to want to go to a club with a reputation for being hostile and intimidating even towards yourself as a manager, and believe it or not managers want to do well for two reasons, first it enhances their CV, yes this is selfish but every manager wants to manage at the top and secondly for you; the fans, listen to managers on the television or radio after a big win and they will say it is for the fans that is not a load of rubbish, managers care about us the fans and want us to leave a stadium on a Saturday or Tuesday beaming with pride.

But their are two sides to the coin, managers need to be loyal to fans, I remember last season, at the start of October, Newport were in a mess, we were bottom of the league and only had five points from ten games, so we appointed John Sheridan who most fans were fond of because he got us up to 20th place. Only to jump ship and go to Oldham after seventeen games in charge, he went from being loved by County fans to being called Judas. So managers and fans need to stay together so that your club does not become a source of constant negative media attention due to a falling out of the fans and manager, they also need to stay together and support each other so that when the time comes for the manager to move on their is no bitterness, which could cause a mountain of problems at board level.

Attendances

This one is aimed towards fans and the board, have you ever been to a nearly empty stadium due to protests against owners? Or because fans have declared that they have had enough of the coaching staff? It leaves a sour taste in the mouth of the board, manager and fans who stay, it affects the board because they live or die based on appointments, it hurts the manager because he will know that fans have left because of him which will be very demoralising and the fans are affected because it can destroy atmospheres at grounds. Football cannot be football without fans and if they start to stay away from the stadium the remaining supporters will wonder if there is any point going. I remember that happening this season, Newport lost 4-1 at Rodney Parade to a brilliant Exeter City side, who as I said earlier have had the same manager for a long time and looked the real deal. This was also our sixth straight defeat and some fans were talking to me and said they were done until a change was made. Our next home game against Colchester was seen by just over 2000 people which hurt me as a fan that other supporters would not back our manager and the team who at the time needed all the support they could get. So fans stick by the manager even in times of struggle because they are hurting as much as you and need everything you have in terms of support.

Damon Brimble

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