I’ve been thinking about reconstruction and what I would do if parachuted into Hampden. Here are a few suggestions that Mr Doncaster et al are free to act upon. Although, further advice will be charged at my usual rate of pies and beer!
The first problem I see is that the SFA/SPL/SFL execs are caught is the classic exec conundrum – things are going tits up on their watch and things must be turned round quickly and dramatically without losing face – or their jobs. Their instinctive solution is dramatic re-structuring – WRONG.
You see it in big organisations all the time. Re-structuring lets you start at year zero, resetting all the inconvenient measures and metrics. But does it create a better business– usually not – but often the execs responsible move on before reality bites again.
The key questions for the execs are
- how did we get in this mess
- what did we do
- why didn’t it work
- what are we not understanding
- where will our current trajectory take us
- what is a reasonable and realistic alternative outcome?
Now, the first barrier to this approach is humility – big execs have big egos and there are lots of other big egos waiting to take your job – such humble introspection requires rare strength of character. In fact leading a complex organisation out of trouble requires immense skill, inner strength and hard work. Many big organisations change execs to solve problems like football clubs change managers – again starting at year zero – But does this create a better business – not unless the new skill-set and experience are significantly better. So here are the first 4 steps of my 12 step plan.
- A man needs to know his limitations
- Forget about revolution
- identify what is wrong and fix it
- change needs to be slow and predictable to reduce resistance and build trust
- make small, informed changes- evaluate results
- make further small changes
- reverse if necessary
- success breeds success
- confidence breeds confidence
- small failures are easier to recover than big ones
- No man is an island
- need to bring clubs together as a team
- competing for fans’ time and money against a million other recreational activities
- clubs rise together or fall together
- It will take time and effort but there is no alternative.
- Big clubs won’t be big clubs for long if the little clubs disappear.
- Acknowledge that all money in football comes from fans.
- No fans = no season tickets,
- No fans = no gate money,
- No fans = no TV deals,
- No fans = no sponsorship,
- No fans = no merchandise.
- All money in football comes from fans.
- Ergo – football needs more fans, attending more often, happily spending more money each time.
- Identify the key success factors for the business AND understand what fans love and hate
- this is common to all clubs
- make gradual changes over 3-5 years
- remove meaningless mid-table matches
- gradually change league numbers, promotion, relegation and all notified well in advance.
- Manage financial impact of relegation – parachute payments etc – sudden shocks wreck businesses
- Motivate teams to play every match like a cup final with revenue sharing based on points, goals, cards
- Gradually re-distribute revenue allowing clubs to plan and adjust
- Ring fence revenue for player development and train for high skill levels as in Holland, Spain etc
- Be imaginative attracting more occasional customers through value pricing, family discounts, group deals, event packages etc
- Demand high standards in all aspects of the game e.g. Zero tolerance to anti-social behaviour by fans, diving, getting in ref’s face, bringing the game into disrepute etc etc
- Set a standard Scotland can be proud of.
Step 5 – The perfect league structure is . . . .
Posted by mcfc