Football: Barnwell insists directors of football are the way ahead

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The League Managers' Association believes installing a director of football at clubs is "the way forward" for the game.

John Barnwell, the LMA chief executive, said: "This is the way forward. But each club is different. Walsall will do things in a different way to Arsenal, but the principles are the same.

"We have to be clear about the role of a director of football. There's no point taking him on if he is going to be doing the same thing as the coach, We are trying to make the job more specific.

"Managers are brought into a club for their football knowledge and they're expected to do three or four other jobs for the club, which are highly qualified in this day and age. There is no defined role yet. We are in the process of investigating and we want to do is build up a structure for all clubs to work around.

"We do not envisage a hard and fast structure for a director of football, but each club will have to define his role. For example, if the coach wants a left-back, does the director of football go out and get him for him? Or does the coach say `this is the player I want - go and get him for me?' And who does all the financial aspects? Who sorts out recruitment and the scouting system?

"The manager's role was barely sustainable 10 years ago, but it is now impossible. The workload is impossible."

Barnwell and his colleagues have been studying the way continental football has adapted to the change in the managerial role but they will not employ the European style as their blueprint for the future.

"We have done a survey in Italy and Holland and will be looking to France shortly, where they all have head coaches but also managers."