Are Premier League owners having too much influence on their clubs?
In the wake of another ridiculous sacking, I thought it was time to critique the over-whelming impact owners are now having these days on their clubs future, and most of the time it’s a negative impact these owners are having on their club.
The innocent victim this time was Chris Hughton. He has given Norwich every chance of surviving this season as they sit five points clear of the relegation zone. So why has he been sacked? Yes, admittedly the form guide doesn’t look good for Norwich after losing five of their last eight games, and yes Hughton has spent over £20m this summer with very little return. But I think it is inconceivable to think that Norwich are now better prepared to avoid relegation after their managerial re-shuffle with Neil Adams now taking over for the remaining five games. I may live to eat my words and Neil Adams may turn out to be a huge success, but I will take my chances with this manager who is unproven at the highest level, and has a discouraging run-in including Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in their final five games. It may have been time for a change for Norwich City, but the timing of the dismissal was met with disgust, with Gary Lineker stating he thought the sacking was “bonkers” via Twitter.
Chris Hughton has been sacked by Norwich. Now? With 5 games to go? Utterly bonkers!
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) April 6, 2014
This however, is just a drop in the ocean as to what we are witnessing in this fascinating Premier League campaign. With Hughton’s sacking, this now means that all seven of the bottom Premier League clubs has now changed their managers this season. I don’t need to go in depth into the shenanigans that have occurred in Wales, with Swansea and Cardiff both ludicrously replacing their managers, particularly the Vincent Tan-Cardiff City saga where another innocent man Malky Mackay was forced to end his tenure at the club. ‘Gamble,’ is a term that has been used with the Canaries’ reshuffle, but to dismiss Malky Mackay, who ironically was outside the relegation places when he was in charge, has proved to be a gamble that Vincent Tan will surely rue.
Other farcical sackings include Steve Clarke, who last season had led West Brom to their highest ever finish in the Premier League, and Paulo Di Canio, who had only been in charge of the club for a lousy thirteen matches. You could also include Daniel Levy in this embarrassing list of owners who have made terrible decisions. His insistence on having a Technical Director in the club has consistently backfired. Under Harry Redknapp, where there was no Technical Director present, they were playing their most attractive football, reaching a final of the League Cup and more successfully, reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Conversely, with Franco Baldini as Technical Director this season, who Daniel Levy insists on having in the club, has seen Spurs fall well short of their league objectives this season.
It’s naive to say that all owners are evil and dim-witted. Owners that stay under the radar, that remain virtually anonymous, tend to be the most successful ones. Owners such as Bill Kenwright, Stan Kroenke and John Henry have proven to be valuable assets to the club and have shown how to run a club. Some gambles have paid off; this is evident at Crystal Palace where Tony Pulis looks to have pulled off “The Great Escape” incredibly. But it’s the owners that we hear about more than the managers that need to take note and learn from those successors. Owners such as Mike Ashley, Karson Yeung and Daniel Levy are having too much influence on their club and are only moving their club in the wrong direction.
They have the best intentions, but invariably make the best decisions.
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