How transfers should be done

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Post by The Franchise Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:55 pm

This post in the Rodgers sack thread got me thinking.

@urbaNRoots wrote:
@Unique wrote:A transfer should work like this. A manager tells the club what players he wants. Then the club should negotiate a price for the players if they can afford them he gets them. If not they tell the manager they can't afford the player and to look at other options. No way should the club be signing players and then saying to the manager here you go fit him into the team.


So the club should not inquire at all about said player so long as he is affordable? That's BS.

I admire Liverpool for creating a transfer committee, I don't know if these people are competent but the idea is right. Clubs shouldn't accept mediocre players just because the manager thinks it'll be worth it, unless they well agree on it and make the decision themselves.

If anything no club should rely on one person doing everything like most English clubs do.


Lets discuss, what is the way transfers should be done? Does it depend on the club? Examples?

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Post by rwo power Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:38 pm

I think the way German clubs go about it appears most sensible to me.

The board tells sports director and coach how much money can be allocated. The coach tells the sports director what kind of players he needs, the sports director contacts the scouts, who is interesting, then the SpoDi talks with the coach again and checks whether the financial side fits, too.

That way normally the best solutions can be found as the work load and fields of expertise are properly distributed and a single person doesn't have too much power.
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Post by Jay29 Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:41 pm

I'm a fan of the Director of Football model that's used everywhere but some clubs in England. The idea of a manager making all the decisions is old-fashioned and inefficient, because as we've seen many times there are managers who make good transfers and those that don't. I'm not entirely sure how truthful this is, but have seen it brought up often: had it been Rodgers' decision, Liverpool would not have signed Daniel Sturridge, and I can say with some certainty that Wenger has passed up some useful and talented players for whatever reason.

In an ideal world you have good communication between the manager and the DoF. The manager tells the DoF and his team the type of player he wants, then the DoF goes away and finds those players. I think the final say should be the manager's, but only on the type of player and not the price. So applying this to Arsenal, I would want Wenger to identify the player and decide if he wants him or not, but whether the club would be over or underspending shouldn't come into the equation.

Long-term, as well, I believe the DoF model is more sustainable. Managers change every year for some clubs, but the DoF will stay on. This is advantageous for a club if they have a great DoF like Monchi, for example. Obviously it helps if you have someone competent to do that job.

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Post by Lucifer Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:52 pm

I think club must have a big say in transfer because managers are not permanent SAF and Wenger are exceptions though. The next manager would not want a particular player bought by the previous manager jst because he doesn't fit in his schemes. The manager should adapt to the the club,players and culture not the other way around. Also if manager wants and buys a particular player he tends to be biased towards him which may lead to groupism in dressing room. I

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Post by Cruijf Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:18 pm

I think the manager undoubtedly has to be at the start. He is the best placed person to say what the holes in his squad are and what types of players he needs. If you don't trust your manager to do that than he shouldn't be your manager.

I'm not in favor of having a director of football or sporting director because that's just another link on the chain. The more people involved, the greater the chance of miscommunication or incompetence. The manager should speak directly with the scouts, who will then come back to him with players they have identified who meet the characteristics the manager identified. They decide on the top two or three targets and then speak to the board. They take over at this point and deal completely with the financial aspect of who to bid for, negotiations, contract details, etc.
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Post by Adit Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:54 pm

Pirloisjesus wrote:I think club must have a big say in transfer because managers are not permanent SAF and Wenger are exceptions though. The next manager would not want a particular player bought by the previous manager jst because he doesn't fit in his schemes. The manager should adapt to the the club,players and culture not the other way around. Also if manager wants and buys a particular player he tends to be biased towards him which may lead to groupism in dressing room. I


Exactly this. If your team has a long term manager like SaF or Wenger then transfers should be ultimately decided by them.

If the club is one of those clubs where maximum a manager will stay is 3 years then ultimate decision should be made by the DOF. You can sack coach but you can't just sell half the squad and buy new players all of a sudden. Plus I don't think coaches really have enough time to watch and Scout other players.
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Post by The Franchise Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:58 pm

@rwo power wrote:I think the way German clubs go about it appears most sensible to me.

The board tells sports director and coach how much money can be allocated. The coach tells the sports director what kind of players he needs, the sports director contacts the scouts, who is interesting, then the SpoDi talks with the coach again and checks whether the financial side fits, too.

That way normally the best solutions can be found as the work load and fields of expertise are properly distributed and a single person doesn't have too much power.

But how do you solve the issue which happens all too often. The sports director finds a player which in his eyes is that kind of player but the coach doesnt want him because his opinion is different?
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Post by The Franchise Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:07 pm

Dont get me wrong, I agree with the general feeling here. But at the same time, it happens all the time that you have "a coaches player" and a "DOF" player.

The "DOF" player is often not used properly by the coach and never fits in. And thats not really the coaches fault, because if the player doesnt fit then why should he try and force it to work when he has a better option?

Ideally like Jay said, the two people should work well together to make it..but its nearly impossible, because those 2 people wont have the same view.

In my small world of coaching, a great friend of mine who was my assistant and now has his own team at my club, we have an issue which is the same way. He is a great friend of mine and we generally see football in the same way..but we cant agree on everything. Some players he likes more than I do, some players I like more than he does.

So if he was the DOF and I was the coach, he would say to me "yep, this right wing, he is an amazing player. Should start all the time"..but that same player, I only think is quite good, but not indispensable, some matches he will be on the bench.

And this is in my small world of youth football, nobody has a job on the line, nobody has anything to lose, noone reputation is staked on this one player. Put this situation and times it by 100 on the highest level of football and it becomes a problem which none of us can do anything about.

Imagine of my friend was a total idiot and we dont agree on anything, I am sure there are some coach/DOF relationships which are just like that.

Of course, nothing is a flawless process and everything has positives and negatives but even what we consider the best way can quickly become a problem.
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Post by rwo power Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:04 pm

@The Franchise wrote:But how do you solve the issue which happens all too often. The sports director finds a player which in his eyes is that kind of player but the coach doesnt want him because his opinion is different?
Normally the SpoDi sees to it that he appoints a coach who fits the philosophy of the club (okay, we'll just omit the HSV as for some reason they never really managed that philosophy thing or anything). In that case, coach and SpoDi should pretty much act in concert for the better of the club, so they usually discuss the question together whether a players fits or not.

Isn't it worse if a coach hires half a dozen players and suddenly he is fired, and none of these guys fits with the ideas of the new coach? You can probably do that if you have lots of money at your disposal, but if you work on a tight budget, then the coach shouldn't be the one who decides alone.

(And mind you - in Germany there is a separation between coach and manager - the coach is for coaching, the manager is responsible for the business stuff.)
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:38 am

Generally speaking the clubs have two different organizations in this aspect, neither is necessarily better, they both have advantages and weaknesses:

Sporting Director + Coach: A sporting director that will make player decisions and will also make the choice of a coach to manage this particular group. In this model the coach can only request specific players but he wouldn't be the transfer authority. Examples are Madrid in the Valdano era, Juve right now with Marotta, Tottenham until recently with Baldini, Barca in the post-Pep era with Zubi, etc. Advantages to this system are stability (the coach might move on but the identity remains the same as the SD will bring on coaches with the same, or similar, philosophies). It's also possible that you might not be able to bring in a top coach, when Perez brought over Mourinho one of the first things he did was get Valdano fired. Top coaches tend to also want to have a large role in the management of the club.

Manager: The manager, as opposed to simply a coach, will be in charge of all first team decisions and quite likely have a lot of influence over the structure of the club, including scouting and youth team promotion. Examples abound in English football: Mourinho, SAF, and Wenger come easily to mind. The advantage is that a coach is allowed to build something more needed to his specifications, but the work could be completely destroyed if the coach that follows does not believe in the same principles as the old coach. A manager could also make poor transfer decisions, as one could argue was the case with Pep, so simply being a good coach does not make a good manager.
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Post by titosantill Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:08 am

This is how i see it- you need a coach, a sporting director and the club (president, directors, owner etc). The problem isn't "who should make the signings"? but rather what are everyone's duties? It's the president's job to keep the coach and sporting director informed on how much the club can and is willing to spend on transfers in terms of hard currency

its the sporting director's job to work with the coach in assessing contracts, and see what players can leave and add more money to club pockets in order to finance more deals, in addition to the funds available stated to the president

it is strictly the job of the coach to say who he wants on his team and who will fit the style of play he is trying to impact. and then, it goes back to the sporting director to work with agents to try and convince this player to sign, and obviously the owner/ president gives the final signature to conclude the deal
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Post by titosantill Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:20 am

i have a problem with presidents and sporting directors signing players. even at a club like ours (madrid), where we change managers everyday, it is ridiculous to leave signings to a sporting director or a president. if new coach doesn't want such player, how can club administration justify firing such coach (if he fails) when they signed a bunch of people he didn't know

i hate it especially when the club directors are former coaches, and want to use the experience they had as coaches to decide who they should sign ala arrigo sacchi, valdano @ madrid...for crying out loud, you're not going to be training with these guys so let a trainer do it

there's the thing of, "well, if they fired a coach and they haven't got a new coach yet, they can sign whoever". no, if you fire a coach, first priority should be hiring a new manager and getting him on record to choose who he wants on the team. when sporting director has his signing (who may never get minutes unless he's really really really good) , president has his signing (who must probably always play), and coach has his signing, it leads to all sorts of politicking.

let the coach choose and if the team still loses, the coach is fully responsible. the problem with transfers is bad administration. going into the season where you've fired a manager and need a new one, if the new coach is the last person you sign or if you've signed players without his consent, that's just foolish....now the president can give suggestions, but it shouldn't be law, it should be 'what works for the manager'
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Post by rwo power Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:38 am

The problem is that the coach may demand a certain player,. but if that player is too expensive, there is nothing he can do. That's why I think that it should be a process where the different parties (fiancial chief, sports director and coach) need to work together to get the best possible solution.

If you look at Bayern, you have Pep as coach, Sammer as sports director and KH Rummenigge as chief executive officer. Pep can ask for a player, Sammer can make the contact with the agent and do the negotiations, but the board is responsible for the money that can be allocated.

Or look at Dortmund, where you currently have Thomas Tuchel (and formerly Kloppo) who discusses transfers together with sports director Michael Zorc and CEO Aki Watzke.

Similarly, at Gladbach you have the sports director Max Eberl, who is currently looking for a coach who fits the philosophy of Gladbach, and as the philosophy was put down by Eberl and the Gladbach board, they will not go for a coach with a totally different philosophy, so that the players that were hired during Lucien Favre's tenure are still the ones that fit with the next coach. (After all, Gladbach are not a rich club and they have to use their money carefully so that they don't get into debts, which means that they can only sign very few players for comparatively modest sums.)

I think about every Bundesliga club is pretty much structured like that. Additionally, the sports director usually oversees a scouting department with scouts who unearth interesting players that can then be suggested to the coach.

The case that was described above that the new coach sees to it that the sports director gets fired, wouldn't be applicable there as the new coach has to be okayed by sports director and the board, and they will certainly not hire a coach that wants to turn the administrative structure topsy-turvy.
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Post by titosantill Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:12 am

@rwo, that is why the president should make known to coach and sporting director how much they have available to spend. so that the coach doesn't start asking for bale when the club only has 50 million. and if the coach keeps insisting on bale or bust, he can work with the sporting director to decide who the team can sell to get some extra funds. if a sporting director or president is so keen on bringing players without the coach, then they might as well start coaching the team. valdano was fine with selling, signing and suggesting players, but when florentino wanted to fire pellegrini after alcorcon and have valdano coach temporarily, valdano shied away. i think you need all 3 to know their positions
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Post by The Franchise Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:29 pm

@rwo power wrote:Isn't it worse if a coach hires half a dozen players and suddenly he is fired, and none of these guys fits with the ideas of the new coach? You can probably do that if you have lots of money at your disposal, but if you work on a tight budget, then the coach shouldn't be the one who decides alone.
Yes, this is worse. But even worse is that you would give a coach lots of money and then not give him the time to see it through, which is the case 99% of the time.

Plus, often what you describe is the case anyway. Every coach has different ideas and it doesnt matter if the previous coach or the previous DOF chosen the guys, the next coach may not have a use for them either way.

Many examples of this happening too.
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Post by Kick Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:48 am

Surely the best way would be for the board, a DoF and any other high up staff should agree on a philosophy, whether it counter attacking, high pressing, possession, wing play, etc etc.

build a model from the team they have, bring in a manager who can implement their model and then, in cooperation with the manager, agree upon and purchase players to execute that model.

For example, say Chelsea were to sack Jose and wanted to play possession football. They'd look at the squad, think 'Ok, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Pedro, Fabregas, Azpilicueta, Courtois and maybe Matic fit into this system.'

They'd look to bring in someone like Pep, they'd say they want to play possession football much like his Barcelona sides did. they'd then discuss with Pep on transfers. Agree that a new CF, RB and CB is needed, and then go out and sign players who fit that system. A CF who can dribble, a Rb who can pass and a ball playing CB. With all Transfers being agreed upon by the manager, the DoF and the club model, which both the manager and DoF know and impliment.

Then, even if Pep leaves the club, they can bring in another who like playing possession football, this manager wouldn't mind the players he currently has, as the club model hasn't changed. He may want to alter a thing or two, maybe he doesn't like Fabregas and wants to bring in Gundogan instead. But overall, the team and playing style won't change all that much.

That, for me, would be the best way to handle transfers.
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Post by rwo power Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:07 am

@Kick

That's pretty much what Borussia M'gladbach have done / do. And that's why Max Eberl lets André Schubert take care still (he did work together with Favre for a while after all), while he takes his time to find a new coach who fits the Gladbach philosophy.
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Post by The Franchise Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:06 pm

@Kick wrote:Surely the best way would be for the board, a DoF and any other high up staff should agree on a philosophy, whether it counter attacking, high pressing, possession, wing play, etc etc.

build a model from the team they have, bring in a manager who can implement their model and then, in cooperation with the manager, agree upon and purchase players to execute that model.

For example, say Chelsea were to sack Jose and wanted to play possession football. They'd look at the squad, think 'Ok, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Pedro, Fabregas, Azpilicueta, Courtois and maybe Matic fit into this system.'

They'd look to bring in someone like Pep, they'd say they want to play possession football much like his Barcelona sides did. they'd then discuss with Pep on transfers. Agree that a new CF, RB and CB is needed, and then go out and sign players who fit that system. A CF who can dribble, a Rb who can pass and a ball playing CB. With all Transfers being agreed upon by the manager, the DoF and the club model, which both the manager and DoF know and impliment.

Then, even if Pep leaves the club, they can bring in another who like playing possession football, this manager wouldn't mind the players he currently has, as the club model hasn't changed. He may want to alter a thing or two, maybe he doesn't like Fabregas and wants to bring in Gundogan instead. But overall, the team and playing style won't change all that much.

That, for me, would be the best way to handle transfers.

I agree this is totally the most ideal way, but I can imagine it wouldnt work as smoothly in practice.

Lets us your example. Lets say the DOF says, yep the ball playing CB I think is the answer would be Hummels. Pep said, I want Blind. Both technically are ball playing CB's but wildly different in other ways.

In the end, the DOF wins and Hummels is signed. Hummels struggles badly in the PL and looks terrible.

Pep benches him, plays Zouma and some rookie from the academy. Hummels transfer is deemed a failure, the DOF is upset with Pep and accuses him that hasnt given Hummels enough time to adapt because it wasnt his signing he is trying to show he should choose the signings. Pep says Hummels simply isnt performing.

This to me is the issue when more than 1 person makes a decision. Especially when only one of them is in charge of making it work.
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Post by Kick Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:23 pm

@The Franchise wrote:
@Kick wrote:Surely the best way would be for the board, a DoF and any other high up staff should agree on a philosophy, whether it counter attacking, high pressing, possession, wing play, etc etc.

build a model from the team they have, bring in a manager who can implement their model and then, in cooperation with the manager, agree upon and purchase players to execute that model.

For example, say Chelsea were to sack Jose and wanted to play possession football. They'd look at the squad, think 'Ok, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Pedro, Fabregas, Azpilicueta, Courtois and maybe Matic fit into this system.'

They'd look to bring in someone like Pep, they'd say they want to play possession football much like his Barcelona sides did. they'd then discuss with Pep on transfers. Agree that a new CF, RB and CB is needed, and then go out and sign players who fit that system. A CF who can dribble, a Rb who can pass and a ball playing CB. With all Transfers being agreed upon by the manager, the DoF and the club model, which both the manager and DoF know and impliment.

Then, even if Pep leaves the club, they can bring in another who like playing possession football, this manager wouldn't mind the players he currently has, as the club model hasn't changed. He may want to alter a thing or two, maybe he doesn't like Fabregas and wants to bring in Gundogan instead. But overall, the team and playing style won't change all that much.

That, for me, would be the best way to handle transfers.

I agree this is totally the most ideal way, but I can imagine it wouldnt work as smoothly in practice.

Lets us your example. Lets say the DOF says, yep the ball playing CB I think is the answer would be Hummels. Pep said, I want Blind. Both technically are ball playing CB's but wildly different in other ways.

In the end, the DOF wins and Hummels is signed. Hummels struggles badly in the PL and looks terrible.

Pep benches him, plays Zouma and some rookie from the academy. Hummels transfer is deemed a failure, the DOF is upset with Pep and accuses him that hasnt given Hummels enough time to adapt because it wasnt his signing he is trying to show he should choose the signings. Pep says Hummels simply isnt performing.

This to me is the issue when more than 1 person makes a decision. Especially when only one of them is in charge of making it work.


I agree that it wouldn't work in all situations but no transfer is 100% guaranteed to work. To continue the example, Even if Pep wanted Blind and got Blind, he still may flop horribly and then the DoF would turn to Pep and say that they should have signed Hummels.

I think it's something that you have to play by numbers, not by individual transfers.

For instance, Chelsea's loan policy. We bought a lot of players with the intention of either bringing them into the first team or making money off them. Looking at a list loan players bought from 2011-2014(figures on millions, where applicable, all others were undisclosed): Courtois €9, Lukaku €12, Davila £1.75, Omeruo, Piazon €7.5, Bamford £1, De Bruyne £6.7, T. Hazard €1, Wallace €5.1, Cuavas £1.7, Perica, Atsu £3.5, Traore, Zouma £12.5, Pasalic.

From that list, 3 are now part of the first team, Courtois, Zouma and Traore. 3 have been sold on for a profit, Lukaku (£28), De Bruyne (£16.5) and Hazard (£5.8 ). 3 have had great loans spells and would likely be sold on for a profit, if sold, Bamford, Omeruo and Pasalic, 4 were very cheap purchases and are unlikely to lose much, if any money on, if sold, Davila, Cuavas, Perica and Atsu. And the final two, Wallace and Piazon, well the jury is still out on them. Both could become great players but could potentially be the only two failed purchases in the lot.

Statistically, those a very good numbers, but if you only focused on the Piazon transfer, you'd question whether or not the Chelsea loan system is working.
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Post by The Franchise Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:10 pm

Yeah exactly, the other way is just as likely as you said and this process is exactly why im not convinced by the model.

When the coach deciedes all the players, he has liability and there is clear responsibility. He has all the motivation to use the player as he should and there are no excuses.

Yes, a new coach can be left with players he doesnt want. But that can happen anyway.

Even coaches with a similar philosophy can see individual players different.

That Chelsea model is quite unique and perhaps not best used as a general guide but I get what your saying.

Overall, I am not convinced by either method (with a DOF or the old school one manager chooses everything) and think both have strengths and weaknesses. I think every situation is different and may require one or the other.

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Post by futbol_bill Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:29 pm

i am going to speak from the perception of Real Madrid. It's an example of how not to do it!

First it is the president (with no futbol knowledge, only strong financial, economic skills) making the decisions. It should be a sporting director (with real authority) or a committee with proven expertise and supported by a strong scouting team.

At Madrid, the coach (only exception was Mourinho) has no say in signings except on rare occasion to concur with some current signing.

The end result is the coach has to implement his system with whatever players he has selected for him. worst example of this was Bale, but there are others in recent past; Kaka, Beckham, Michael Owen, Drenthe (over Mata).

However, Madrid is now in a process that I like a lot. They have fairly quietly signed youth, mostly Spanish, for almost every position on team, the exceptions are where they already have someone fairly young 21- 24 as incumbent. These kids, all under 21, are mostly playing 1st division futbol on loan. This is in addition to the academy. Now not all of these kids will make the transition to Madrid's first team, but they all look very promising.

So you combine this with current squad, most of whom are still very young, the future looks bright. However, they still need another change (besides the Sporting director or committee) and that is to change the signings to be what is needed to address the needs or weaknesses within squad rather than Perez's latest marketing signing urge. and definitely the coach and sporting director should have major input in that. I don't believe the coach should be saying a specific player, but rather what attributes should the player have. That way the sporting director and scouting staff can provide the various options.
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